freelance translator. freelance project manager, organisator. likes to build bridges.
interested in China, Chinese (digital) culture & new media art, social media, translation & more.

GeoCity Smart City – International Information Design Exhibition

Während der letzten Monate hat mich ein Projekt besonders fasziniert: die Adaptierung des Datenvisualisierungs-Projekts “GeoCity”, das das Ars Electronica Futurelab 2009 für Linz entwickelt hat, für eine Ausstellung in Beijing: “GeoCity Smart City”, die Hauptausstellung der Beijing Design Week 2012.

Entstanden ist das Projekt in einer Reihe von Gesprächen mit dem Kurator Yang Lei von CMoDA (China Millennium Monument Museum of Digital Arts Beijing) über eine mögliche Involvierung von Ars Electronica bei CMoDA. Die Wahl eines stadtbezogenen Themas liegt bei einer Stadt wie Beijing auf der Hand, dazu kam, dass die Beijing Design Week 2012 eine Kooperation mit CMoDA anstrebte und sich u. a. mit dem Thema “Smart City” auseinandersetzen wollte.

“GeoCity” ist ein interaktives Projekt, das eine Fülle von Daten über die Stadt bündelt und über verschiedene Tools und Visualisierungsansätze erforschbar macht – es ist eine “begehbare Datenbank”. Die Recherche von Daten ist neben der technischen Umsetzung die größte Herausforderung, vor allem in einem Kontext wie China, wo statistische Daten über eine Stadt nicht im gleichen Maße zugänglich sind wie zum Beispiel in Linz bzw. immer mitbedacht werden muss, dass in China Daten einer strengen Zensur unterliegen und beim Brainstorming zu möglichen Datenquellen der selbstzensurierende Ansatz der Involvierten (mehr oder weniger) stark spürbar war.

In Kooperation mit dem CMoDA CoINNO Lab und dem Design Beijing Lab des Information Art and Design Department der Tsinghua-Universität in Beijing wurde ein dreitägiges Workshop, geleitet von Michael Badics / Ars Electronica Solutions, organisiert, bei dem auch verschiedene Gruppierungen, die an Visualisierungsprojekten im Kontext Stadt arbeiten, eingeladen wurden. Ziel des Workshops war es zu definieren, welche Art von Karten und Daten zum Einsatz kommen, wie die grafische Umsetzung ausschauen und vor allem, welche “Geschichten” diese Daten erzählen sollen.

Das Projekt soll auch chinesischen Entscheidungsträgern vermitteln, dass diese Form der Datenaufbereitung ein neues Verständnis für urbane Zusammenhänge ermöglicht und als Hilfe im politischen Prozess der Entscheidungsfindung relevant ist. (Dass Beijing in mancher Hinsicht sehr aufgeschlossen ist, zeigt ein Projekt, das mithilfe der Software-Plattform Ushahidi und Crowdsourcing erforschen will, wie die Situation für Fußgänger und Radfahrer verbessert werden kann: http://www.ideaconnection.com/blog/2012/07/china-to-turn-to-the-crowd-to-solve-pedestrian-problems/#more-4028 )

Press Release

GeoCity Smart City is the main exhibition for Beijing Design Week 2012. Curated by CMoDA (China Millennium Monument Museum of Digital Arts), the exhibition augments and maps information design and application cases for smart cities initiatives around the world, and to use it as input for Smart Beijing case development.

The exhibition makes a new manifesto on Smart City development: It should be led by Big Design (Information Design) powered by Big Data (with social intelligence mined) to better serves Big City, leading to an ultimate lift in social well-being.

GeoCity Smart City is the point of departure to provide a holistic way to view and understand complex urban issues via data visualization and information design. It studies urban mobility via mapping population, transportation, telecommunication, environment and social data to facilitate interdisciplinary research and communication for city operators and urban planners, leading to collaborative innovation in city development and service improvement.

GeoCity Beijing, the pilot demo for Smart Beijing case development, will be the main project debut at the exhibition. The GeoCity model was developed by Ars Electronica FutureLab (Austria). GeoCity Beijing is the model’s first Asian application after Linz and Berlin and is a collaboration of Ars Electronica Solutions, CMoDA CoINNO Lab and Design Beijing Lab at the Information Art and Design Department of Tsinghua University, Beijing.

Overall there will be 60 works from 50 international design studios and university labs from 14 countries including leading urban information design innovators Ars Electronica FutureLab (AT), faberNovel (FR), MIT Senseable City Lab (US), College of Fine Art / University of New South Wales (AU), Orange Labs Beijing, CAFA Media Lab, Dirk van der Kooij (NL), LxU (CN), Jordan Kanter (US), CYJO (US). The exhibition includes a digital design education strand with 15 international and local universities / labs exchanging digital design projects on smart living.

In addition, one day symposium on Sep. 28 will be dedicated to smart city driven by information design and big data. Another forum on Media Facade Design, organized by EUNIC Cluster China, will be on Sep. 30.

GEOCITY BEIJING

GeoCity Beijing, initiated by CMoDA CoINNO Lab, is an information visualization study project for “GeoCity Smart City”, the main exhibition curated by CMoDA (China Millennium Monument Museum of Digital Arts) for Beijing Design Week 2012, in collaboration with Ars Electronica Solutions and Design Beijing Lab at the Information Art and Design Department of Tsinghua University, Beijing.

Beijing, the fast growing mega city, inevitably spawns outrageous urban issues. The migration workers versus the static household and the social security system, the increasing number of private cars on the road versus the old capital’s closed traffic network, the public transportation system that lacks service design, the downgraded air quality after the 2008 Olympics, a city with ubiquitous macro infrastructure, but no micro walkable area. How can we modify and transform the old concrete jungle to host the new urban mobility movement via digital intervention?

The theme of Beijing Municipality’s action plan from the last to the current 5-year period has evolved from Digital Beijing to Smart Beijing. The Digital Beijing initiative makes the mega city become a terra-data generator. In the era of Big Data with the social media boom and the internet, data quality has gone beyond traditional taxonomy and structure, while data quantity is exploding. How can we map the various geo, spatial, social and urban data, and then curate them according to point of interests to get instant insights into the urban issues? The answer lies in the city’s own data mine.

Data visualization, mentioned by the Global Agenda Councils Reports 2011–2012, is a supporting tool to map the world as a complex system. It’s a powerful stomach to digest tons of data. For example, millions of pieces of data can be processed and translated into 30 seconds of 3D animation, zipping the decades into a single moment.

GeoCity Beijing is the point of departure to provide a holistic way to view and understand complex urban issues via data visualization. It studies Beijing’s urban mobility via mapping population, transportation, telecommunication, environment and social data and future simulation into one dynamic dashboard portal to facilitate interdisciplinary research and communication for city operators and urban planners, leading to collaborative innovation in city development. It also allows the public easy access to the open data of the city.

The GeoCity model was developed by Ars Electronica FutureLab. GeoCity Beijing is the model’s first Asian application after Linz and Berlin and is a collaboration of Ars Electronica Solutions, CMoDA CoINNO Lab and Design Beijing Lab at the Information Art and Design Department of Tsinghua University, Beijing.

GeoCity Beijing can be visited and experienced at GeoCity Smart City exhibition at CMoDA from Sep. 29, 2012 to Oct. 14, 2012.

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