The increasing pervasiveness of Internet connected devices and services is altering the perception and practice of public spaces through the provisioning of location-specific digital information. Location-aware technologies allow people to access, annotate, address and attach information to locations, which transforms the space for other people who use the same services. Such locations acquire relevance and reshape social and spatial interactions through increased use on social media as people ‘check-in’ to places, photograph or ‘like’ them. Collectively the authors are marking-up the city around them. The popularization of location-aware technolo¬gies thus contributes to the changing meaning of locations in cities. In contrast to the technological focus in the emerging discourses on smart cities and big data, this paper offers an alternative view of the three lenses of Social, Local and Mobile technologies that describe and explain crowd-sourced socio-technical layers on the city landscape. The proposed integrated theoretical model describes the relevant information linkages between people and places in the online and offline worlds and introduces a new evaluation method for the evaluation of city places: affinity spectrum of social endorsements. The authors conclude with a discussion of the new opportunities for governments to better understand socially emergent ‘urban qualities’ and how citizens construct and appreciate them in order better convert city places into public spaces.
International Journal of Electronic Government Research, 2014, Vol 10, Issue 1, p. 46-62
Big Data; Crowdsourcing; E-Government; Geolocation; Information Relevance; Location-aware; Maps; Online Public Spheres; Smartphone; Social Media; SoLoMo