DATA WALKING WORKSHOP


INTRODUCTION

You will work together in small teams. You will walk the area (street or neighbourhood) through the eyes of a data anthropologist. And you will try to collect useful data about your theme during the walk.

Data collection will take place through notes (pen and paper), pictures (mobile phones), digital counting (via app or sensors/arduino), and/or another method you devise. After the walks you will examine the data and how to visualise it in different forms and materials.

This might be your first moment working with data, or you might be very experienced. You might be interested in particular issues, or a technical aspect. As a group remember to accommodate the different experience and skill levels you each have, common and differing interests, and take this as an opportunity to learn from and with one another.

Data Walking is a framework for people to engage with their surroundings and produce visual responses initiated by first hand data enquiry. For this workshop you must maintain an open, inquisitive, and scientific mind; with a willingness to experiment with how to gather data and how to visualise data.


TOOLS & MATERIALS
Arduino with GPS shield and sensors
Smartphones with GPS camera, video, audio recorder
Pen, pencils, or any mark-making tools & paper
Playdough & modelling clay
Threads
Printers
Screens
Software
Mixed analog/digital


VISUAL REFERENCES
Napolean's Retreat


Phantom Terrain


Smell Maps


Feltron




Dear Data




Every Building on the Sunset Strip




On Broadway


Boyle Family


Steve McPherson


Mark Dion


Hans Eijkelboom



Neubau Forst




Notice that although these are presented as designed visualisations, almost all of them have gathered their own data.


BRIEF
What can we learn about a place, not just by the quantity of something but the characteristics of that something?

It is not just that there is a lot of litter, but the type of litter that gives us insight into human activity.

CONSIDERATIONS
Consider hyper-focused data gathering vs broad data gathering. With broad gathering (photography) we can target particular variables/trends through visualisation but might lack the necessary detail, with hyper-focused (drawing/notes/sensors) we could miss something that is of greater interest.

When deciding methods and materials, consider if they are appropriate to the theme, consider your expertise level and what you want to gain from the workshop, consider the limited time frame. Personally it has been interesting to move from quantative to qualitive data gathering, using more pictures than numbers as source material.

Each team should decide together what they want to gather data on from the below themes. You may gather data on multiple themes and consider the interrelationship between different aspects.


THEMES
GREEN SPACES
amount, size, characteristics, usage, shadiness, openess

FLORA & FAUNA
amount, size, types, diversity

LITTER
amount, characteristics, litter bins

POLLUTION
air quality (perceived/measured), noise, visual

MESSAGING
amount, characteristics, signage, wayfinding, advertising, posters, flyposting, graffiti

SECURITY
amount, characteristics, cameras, fences, physical control measure, guards, bike locks

VEHICLES
amount, characteristics, type, cars, trucks, motorbikes, bikes, speed, traffic, stationary, parked, interactions, arguments/incidents

PEOPLE
amount, density, characteristics, occupation/usage

ARCHITECTURE
age, style, condition, characteristics, function, usage


CHALLENGE

This workshop can be run in a single day or multiple days; scheduling ideas below.


1 DAY SCHEDULE
DAY 1
1000: Project introduction & workshop briefing
1100: Team forming and theme brainstorming (decide what and how)
1200: Walk and lunch
1300: Check data, evaluate method and results; consider how to create visualisation, sketch
1300: You might want to do a second walk if the data/method/theme/route did not work
1400: Work in your teams to prepare a visualisation of your data/collection
1730: Presentations
1750: Thank you, and time for final questions


2 DAY SCHEDULE
DAY 1
1000: Project introduction & workshop briefing
1100: Team forming and theme brainstorming (decide what and how)
1200: Walk
1300: Lunch
1400: Check data, evaluate method and results; consider how to create visualisation, sketch
1500: Print photos LATCH exercise to order data and make sense of what was collected
1700: Adjust methods, focus of theme, route if necessary. Plan next walk (evening or next day)

DAY 2
1000: Recap
1100: Preparatory work required before another walk
1200: Walk 2 (or at the time you intend)
1300: Lunch
1400: Work in your teams to prepare a visualisation of your data/collection
1730: Presentations
1750: Thank you, and time for final questions


AREA