After writing the stories, I consider the big picture.

The Locative Case

In a ubicomp future, our virtual world is dispersed among the physical world.

Our online identities, social interactions and networks, creative output, self-documentation, organizers, reminders, business and financial interactions, and media consumption are all locative, married to place.

From the massive amounts of data and media, we can customize a series of maps to help us navigate the cyber-physical web. We could create a map that follows one person or a network of friends. We could create a map of a particular interest, business or artist. Maps could be packaged and sold as art, books or entertainment.

Or we might sit in one place and read that place. We might take in the stories and traces of stories left behind by the people who have passed through it and have called it home. We might try to understand the ways our lives intersect.

A screen or wearable, would allow us access to the virtual world as it is mapped on the physical world. I can only call that augmented reality.

This vision of a cyber-physical web read through a screen, has the same difficulties of every other augmented or virtual reality technology out there—it interferes with social interaction. However, in this scenario there is a genuine attempt to augment place through the layering of context specific media and data, rather than, as is sometimes seems to be the case, to use the physical world as an extended computer screen.

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