Global opinions for local interests.

With the introduction of the internet to the public and the rise of digital technologies we experience a shift in our understanding of space. Mobile computing devices and ubiquitous computing in urban landscape make the physicality of distance disappear – the modern citizen is digitally connected to everybody at anytime and anywhere. The result of this sophisticated network is a highly globalized world which effects economy same as personal interests, decisions and opinion making of its inhabitants. The introduction of web 2.0 with its methods of comment, recommender and voting systems offers a broad online platform for people all over the world to share experiences and exchange opinions and recommendations about an unlimited variety of topics. Global opinions meet local interests.

In this paper we explore the possibilities of using global voting data to enrich locally the modern citizen’s urban walking experience. We investigate the relationship between physical and digital urban navigation and describe a new approach to wayfinding by implementing common digital online methods of comment and recommender systems into the physical world. Those methods are being translated into the urban environment, using Facebook voting data to generate an alternative to the shortest route, as suggested by common pedestrian route finder systems, in order to maximize the pleasure of a urban stroll. Initial findings highlight the general importance of the walking experience to the public and suggest that implementing recommendations, based on social media voting systems, in route finding algorithms for mobile applications enhance the pleasure of urban strolling. The testing of the system in a real world context together with collected feedback and the observations throughout the design process stimulate the discussions of wider issues and highlight the potential for a Space Recommender System as location based mobile experience, based on public preferences.

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