17 February 2014

Place Literature and Climate Change Adaptation Dialogue.

Susanne Moser has a new research article out in the newest (and paywalled) edition of a Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs) journal focused on climate change  (Vol. 5 Issue 2).

Communicating adaptation to climate change: The art and science of public engagement when climate change comes home (DOI: 10.1002/wcc.276) brings together an analysis on climate change adaptation language used in public policy, practice, and the news media. Scholarship on place attachment and place identity "are of particular relevance" to engaging various groups regarding climate change adaptation, as Moser suggests in the abstract:

Insights from the literature on place attachment and place identity are of particular relevance to public engagement on adaptation as it goes a long way toward explaining the quality of the adaptation debate to date while offering promising opportunities for dialogue.

Moser has her own research and consulting business in Santa Cruz, CA, and is also affiliated with the Woods Institute for the Environment of Stanford University. Along with co-author Lisa Dilling, Moser published Creating a Climate for Change: Communicating Climate Change and Facilitating Social Change (Cambridge University Press) in 2007. More recently, Moser and co-editor Max Boykoff (University of Colorado-Boulder) published Successful Adaptation to Climate Change (2013, Routledge).

06 February 2014

Location-based Social Technology and Sense of Place.

Microsoft has invested $15M in location-ware app maker Foursquare, based in New York City.

Pedro Hernandez at eWeek writes that licensing this social technology will "help Windows and Bing users hone their sense of place."

Connecting Windows Phone users with the search engine Bing and Foursquare's location sensitive app will allow users to receive recommendations about nearby scenes and sites, ostensibly adding depth and perspective to the user experience. Used over time, says Matthew Panzarino at TechCrunch, these platforms will allow "the user to 'come in hot' with intent information about what they're searching for and where they are."

This is "anticipatory computing," using search and activity history to make algorithmic predictions about what other information or activities a user might find interesting. Big Brother never had it so good.

Does crowdsourced, place-based technology like Foursquare "hone" a user's sense of place? Do users become more emotionally attached to places or develop a deeper sense of meaning through the use of such technology? These are empirical questions. Social scientists take note.