RideSouthLA - Urban Trend: Collaborative Urban Mapping





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Published on Oct 10, 2013

Los Angeles
Urban Trend: Collaborative Urban Mapping
Collaborative Urban Mapping, 2013
3 min., 3 sec.

Learn more about Collaborative Urban Mapping on 100urbantrends.org:

This video was commissioned as part of Participatory City: 100 Urban Trends from the BMW Guggenheim Lab, on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from October 11, 2013 - Jan 5, 2014. Learn more at http://www.guggenheim.org/100urbantrends.

RideSouthLA (ridesouthla.com) is a collective that brings mobile mapping, bicycling, and social justice to South LA. The mapping project is multiplatform, involving mobile phones, paper, and bodies in space. For the group, mapping is a tool for social change----documenting the community, envisioning the future, and building a collective power. The team includes many organizations and individuals, including TRUST South LA, Community Services Unlimited, bike clubs (such as the East Side Riders), and university partners including the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg Innovation Lab, the Metamorphosis Project, and the USC Laboratory on the Social Frontier. Technology and design partners include VozMob, Vojo.Co, and DesignedByColleen. The mapping process is crowdsourced with individuals contributing their own images, stories, and strategies for change.

Collaborative urban mapping is more than just making group maps online, or celebrating the digital. Rather, it is about using mapping to empower a neighborhood while cultivating collective efficacy and civic literacy, and using mapping as a kind of local media, spreading stories that resonate with neighborhood storytelling networks, advancing social change.

Collaborative Urban Mapping (2013) tells the collective story of RideSouthLA's process, embedding mapping with bike parades and group walks. The Vojo.Co technology works with very basic phones (no apps!), reaching across the digital divide. Participants are invited to tell their own stories in pictures and in SMS messages. The system resists the type of crowdsourcing that treats participants as cheap sensors for data. Instead, it proclaims that distributing our voices is an act of civic advocacy, a way to build power.


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