What does a place look like based on how it’s used, rather than based on how we want it to be used or how we think it should be used? This would be an interesting experiment for services and for communities.
This article talks about mapping the data from Foursquare to see what goes on where and when, and the resulting graphic is basically a map of the life of a place. Terry Pratchett* has a theory that a city is a living organism, with people as its life source. That’s why, when an out-of-town shopping centre is built and all the people spend their time there instead, the city appears to die from the centre out.
Yeah, ok, that’s fiction. Probably. But it makes you think, no?
Here’s what I’d like to do: one day, when we in local government are a little bit better at monitoring social media, I’d like to sit down and capture all the data that talks about us. Maybe just my organisation to start with, maybe just a particular service or a single community … and I’d like to see what that looks like in graphic form. Where do people go for help? What do they search for? What hashtags do they use when they talk about us? Where are they when they try to each us or access a service?
I’m willing to bet we’ll be surprised by what we see.
* if you haven’t read anything by Terry Pratchett, stop what you’re doing right now and go to the library. Tell them I sent you. They’ll know what to do.