We are exploring how the creation of interactive maps can cultivate awareness about local environments, supporting civic engagement by helping community members communicate new perspectives.
To this end, we are developing a set of technologies and strategies that help people create, share, and discuss "awareness-maps" -- nonliteral, interactive representations of places, people, and experiences that help the creators (and their audiences) express and understand their environments in new and unanticipated ways.
We are considering three categories of environments:
* micro-geographies: hyper-local spaces, like a rooftop, a bedroom, or a street corner
* micro-events: short periods of time, like a carnival, a flash mob, or a forest excursion
* micro-reactions: sets of contextualized emotions, like a joyful occasion, a frustrating meeting, or a playful gathering
How might communities use it?
We are using Scratch (for easy creation of interactive media) on the Nokia N810 Internet tablet (for easy mobile capture of in situ images and audio) as our central tool for creating the maps.