The Familiar City
The Familiar City
Navigating Space as Place
Through questionnaires administered to 210 users of navigation technologies (e.g., GPS, digital maps, and mobile navigation systems) and interviews with ten navigation technology users, chapter 3 identifies the ways that users understand their own spatial relations, conditions of and tactics for mobility, and embeddedness within urban space. One of the most common engagements with GPS is through online mapping tools and mobile navigation technologies, yet we know very little about how these technologies are incorporated into everyday life—how they shape spatial relations, influence cognitive mappings of urban space, and contribute to the formation of a sense of place. Many scholars and critics have understood digital navigation technologies as alienating, abstracting, and distancing the digital media user from place. In contrast to popular assumptions about the distracted perception of space and place encouraged by digital navigation technologies, this chapter analyzes the ways in which the exact opposite processes are observable: navigation technology users are developing wayfinding strategies that reframe their image of the city, alter perceptions and practices of mobility, and re-embed them within urban environments.
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