When I met Karlis Kalnins at ETech 2004, he was wearing flip flops and I was impressed that he wasn’t feeling the cold of the early San Diego morning while we waited in the breakfast line. Later on he told me that he traveled without luggage and just wore all the clothes for the trip on the plane. Karlis had interesting solutions to different problems.
In Honey, I Geo-Tagged the Kids, Douglas Rushkoff quotes Karlis:
The phrase itself was originally coined by Karlis Kalnins, of gpster.net, who applies the precise logic of linguistics to an otherwise seemingly vague field. “Locative is a case, not a place,” Kalnins says, meaning it stands for a final location of an action or the time of the action. In other words, it doesn’t just happen in space, like a map, but also in time.
In addition to time, there is another dimension to locative media that differentiates it from the closely allied fields of augmented reality and pervasive computing. From Wikipedia:
Locative media is closely related to augmented reality (reality overlaid with virtual reality) and pervasive computing (computers everywhere, as in ubiquitous computing). Whereas augmented reality strives for technical solutions, and pervasive computing is interested in embedded computers, locative media concentrates on social interaction with a place and with technology. Many locative media projects have a social, critical or personal (memory) background.
Karlis was also involved in the development of WhereFi, which used wireless access points to triangulate the location of a user. Google and SkyHook do that today, but WhereFi was already being used in art installations as early as 2001. His art installations (along with Mark Tuters) such as the Gallery of the Miraculous and Songlines allowed participants to geoannotate, upload photos and music, and display them in an interactive collaborative map; which is something that current mobile augmented reality apps don’t do today.
Mobile augmented reality has a long history that precedes the current upwelling of augmented reality apps brought on by new technology. While we are in the early phases of this industry, sorting out technical details and finding ways to monetize and create businesses, the industry should keep in mind these early efforts to meld the social with space and time.