Since 2012, the authors have been structuring two social sciences courses at the Catholic University of Milan around the practice of building software based on MIT Experience Lab’s OpenLOCAST mapping engine. During those courses, social phenomena and theories are discussed and analyzed (and often discovered) as they became pertinent in the process of assembling an application intended to enable users to indicate to the Milan municipality malfunctioning parts of the city. Business plans, demos and prototypes are usually the final product of the course. Drawing upon this experience, the paper first introduces some reflections on the potentialities of the practice of software building as a tool for social research, and the benefits of the support of middleware such as OpenLOCAST. It proceeds to illustrate three key issues pertaining to software-based civic engagement, as they emerged from the course experience: extension and intension of the object of engagement; networking strategy; user base segmentation and expansion. In its final paragraph, the paper discusses the theoretical implications of these issues for broader processes of socio-spatial production.
|Rivista||THE ELECTRONIC JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION/LA REVUE ELECTRONIQUE DE COMMUNICATION|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Pubblicato - 2014|
- Code studies
- Location-based services