Essay: The Rise of the User Generated City


As mapping software becomes more ubiquitous, maps become increasingly subjective. We can take our worldview and filter our spatial experience to create individualized interpretations of cities. We can develop our own maps, layering subsets of information based on personal obsession – be it social networks, bird migrations, or bar crawls – and add it to this ever-widening gyre of geographic data. The Lewis or Clark of today is sitting safely behind a laptop and instead of mapping terra incognita, he is placing red pin tabs over his favorite tattoo parlors.

“The Rise of the User Generated City,” is an essay commissioned in 2009 as part of an anthology titled Tattered Fragments of a Map. The book was born out of a curatorial project called Photocartographies, which materialized as an exhibition, this publication, and a series of public programs. The Rise of the User Generated City.


January 26, 2013