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Unexpected Vantage Points: Data Gathering #datatogether and Creativity Through Urban Exploration of Surprising Spaces on Foot Within Aberdeen


Interactive walk

Free Event

As befits a city driven by oil, the car has shaped Aberdeen’s urban landscape in significant ways over the past few decades. One of the most visible signs of its impact has been the construction of car parks across the city centre.

Often overlooked, or actively avoided, Aberdeen’s car parks nevertheless offer some of the most interesting and unexpected vantage points over the city. This event will facilitate crowdsourced data gathering as a way of stimulating creativity through exploration of these urban sites. It will be led by a team of researchers in arts, humanities and health sciences from the University of Aberdeen, who have worked with an app developer to create the free, walking-based iOS app,

[M]apping Aberdeen.

[M]apping is about exploring and engaging with Aberdeen through image, sound, movement and new technologies. It aims to promote walking, social interactions, health, wellbeing and a heightened sense of being in the city. It offers a platform boasting a catalogue of interactive walks. For DataFest Fringe, the team will lead an unmapped public walk, connecting some of Aberdeen’s car parks, with the aim of creating #datatogether to produce a data-rich virtual map capturing the sights and sounds (if not the smells) of some of these curious places. The team will use these data (images, sounds, text) to build and develop a new [M]apping walk with the participants, whilst exploring how mobile technology can be used to record and enhance the experience of urban exploration, with the aim of stimulating others to undertake their own foot-based explorations of Aberdeen.

Not only will this help to enrich the experience and understanding of Aberdeen’s urban environments for residents and visitors, but hopefully encourage users to reflect more widely on how we relate to and interact with the world – and data – around us.