Datalogging the landscape
The natural world allows us to leave our mark through the footsteps we make in the sand, and through the wearing of the turf as we create short cuts to our destinations. It is these individual, unique distinctions that track our movement, yet due to natural world phenomena we may not see or experience these exact same routes again. The footsteps are washed away and the desire line once created by a shortcut may become overgrown as a new, quicker route takes its place. GPS datalogging devices now enable us to track our routes through space. A walk across the worldly landscape can now be saved into the digital landscape, a world of multiple pixels and in many instances two-dimensional !at plains. De Certeau writes of the ‘walker’ who experiences the routes through the city, in contrast to the ‘voyeur’ who views the city’s design from the rooftops above (de Certeau 1984: 92). Now, both the walker and voyeur are in many ways coexisting simultaneously through these technologies. Providing these two instances ask the question of how our experiences of walking and wandering across the landscape differ from the representations provided by the mapped view. The act of wandering combined with this form of emergent map creation allows for both practices to be undertaken seamlessly, with the digital map growing with every physical step.