The distance between two users of a locative media service.
Used as a geofence, locative media can perform actions such as “When a user is within the proximity of another user, do something cool.”
Used as a data set, locative media can learn about a user based on which other users or internet-of-things objects are within proximity.
For locative media applications, proximity can be used as a bridge into social media


  1. Posted April 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    What should our responsibility be to communicate to the user when an event is triggered? Or should it be sufficient in the Terms simply to notify the user an event “may be triggered if the condition is met”? To date I have only toyed with including GPS triggered events because of my concerns over the user’s privacy or perception my app may be abusing their trust. Not that you would or I would but I have read the comments from users regarding too much location identification by app developers. Do you believe this will cease to be a concern with the next generations?

  2. Posted April 30, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    For locative media applications, which deal primarily with location data (Foursquare, Gowalla, Color etc) the use of location data is implicit in the application.

    Locative media, by definition, requires access and functionality and media generation based on location data. It’s implicit in the medium. The medium doesn’t exist without location data.

    People who are concerned about too much location data being generated would naturally choose not to use locative media. In the same way that some people choose not to send their children to public schools or choose not to watch television.

    The mistrust that occurs comes from applications and devices which use location but give nothing in return. The recent round of concern over iOS and Android location databases in the hardware, for example. Neither of these devices required that data in order to be functional, yet they were still gathering and storing it. As a result, people feel mistrustful.

    This sort of problem, destroying trust at the hardware level, is a larger threat to the field of locative media than any specific application’s Terms of Use or bad behavior.

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