Final Project - Personalizing your mapping experience

Throughout the semester, and a majority of my time at ITP, I have been continually circling around a similar set of questions and interests, primarily looking at how our digital tools can better reflect and extend how personal and complicated we each are. How do we communicate with each other? How do we learn and explore? How do we move through the world? What role do our tools play in all of that?

It was this line of thinking that led me to take Data Personalization, looking for inputs and methods that might lead to us capturing this human data in stronger ways and use it to create a more fulfilled potential of our tools. 

With that in mind, I set out to experiment with one of our most common digital tools today; Maps and Directions.

Apps such as Google Maps, Apple maps, and Waze are used by millions upon millions of people each day. Each of us being told how to move through the world, with little question as to what that is beyond the mode of transportation and when we are leaving. But humans are much more complicated, personal, and organic than that method. We are not packages that always need to be delivered efficiently, we are individuals who move through the world for a myriad of personal reasons, and our tools should allow for that. 

So, I set out to create a mapping app that allows for a personalized way of moving through the world.


Why do we move through the world?

To begin working out how our maps can serve us in a more personal way I started looking at reasons we have for moving through the world. 

Such as:

  • Efficiency 

  • Inspiration

  • Safety

  • Surprise 

  • To gain clarity


What questions need to be asked?

With those examples in mind, one of the biggest challenges within this project is working out which questions are necessary to build an accurate groundwork for personal ideas of concepts such as 'Inspiration' or 'Efficiency'. These can all look different for each user, and some of them are fairly abstract, so how can we ask the right questions, to get the right data, to give the right experience? 


What does that look like?





Click around a bit:


What's next and continuing challenges

As I continue to develop this project there are a few main challenges that will be constant; 

  1. How do you ask questions that give the correct data points for these personal experiences?

  2. What are the data sets this tool taps into in order to respond to such personal feedback?

  3. How do you create a secure system with so much personal data being collected?

With those questions in mind I plan to continue pushing forward with this work to show as an example of how our digital tools can facilitate experiences that exist closer to our mental selves.



Skylar JessenComment