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The Digital CityMedia and the Social Production of Place$
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Germaine Halegoua

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479839216

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479839216.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

The Familiar City

The Familiar City

Navigating Space as Place

(p.108) 3 The Familiar City
The Digital City

Germaine R. Halegoua

NYU Press

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.

Keywords:   GPS, digital maps, mobile navigation, navigation technology, urban mapping, wayfinding strategies, cognitive mapping

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