Digital Remembering and Geolocation


Wikipedia advises that “Geolocation is the identification of the real-world geographic location of an object” and that it “may refer to the practice of assessing the location, or to the actual assessed location”.

Two prompts today set me off thinking about the memory of places … and people.

Aunty Doris

Google’s Street View provides rich information about location.

Google notes that “We automatically blur identifiable faces and license plates in Street View to protect individual privacy. We also provide easily accessible tools so you can request further blurring of any image that features yourself, your family, your car or your home. Learn about Street View’s privacy features and how to request the removal of images that feature inappropriate content.”

ADI wrote about Aunty Doris earlier this year.

Thanks to an alert from Aunty Doris’s grandson, Rhys, I found her on Street View. I wondered what the probability was of a street view vehicle passing Aunty Doris’s doorstep and finding her there cleaning it. Aunty Doris was 95 at the time of the photograph.

I think this is a fascinating example of digital remembering.

Dynamic Connections Map

Dennis Puniard shared with me a link to Schester’s post on dynamic connections mapping.

The post reports that “Rachel Smith, in collaboration with the urban design think tank BMW Guggenheim Lab, has launched a participatory spatial survey to crowd-source and crowd-solve the best bicycle routes in every city across the globe using an interactive user experience map”.

The Dynamic Connections Map allows riders “with varying capability (confident, regular, or potential) to rate streets where they live and work on their bicycle friendliness”. The map has been used very effectively in Berlin.

More information about the project can be found here. The aim is to crowdsource “the best and safest cycle routes” and to provide dynamic input into urban planning processes.


Photo Credits

Frame Grab Google Street View

Cycle lanes in/around Swords (Cian Gity, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The Real Reason Behind Sir Alex Ferguson’s Retirement?

On 8 May, the BBC shared the news:


There has been enormous interest in this decision … even in Canberra.

On 9 May the Canberra Times ran a story around “the greatest coach?” with an excellent interactive infographic.


I have looked at a lot of the coverage and have yet to find anyone who has pinpointed the real reason for Sir Alex’s retirement.

I think it has a great deal to do with my Aunty Doris. She was a passionate Manchester United supporter for over eighty years. Sadly she passed away on 1 April this year. She was a champion advocate for Alex Ferguson when he was appointed and she kept a close eye on him throughout his tenure.

Her memory of Manchester United performance was encyclopaedic. She was in her early 40s at the time of Munich air disaster. When I last saw her in 2011 we spent some time discussing Duncan Edwards and then talked about a survivor of the crash, Sir Bobby Charlton.

Six years ago, Aunty Doris went to a game at Old Trafford to celebrate her 90th birthday.

I may be mistaken but with an Aunty Doris size hole in the universe, it would have been very difficult for Sir Alex to carry on.

As we said goodbye the last time we met, I am sure I heard Aunty Doris say as I was leaving “Don’t get me started on Eusebio …” and I think she was starting to re-analyse the 1968 European Cup Final.

That is the kind of person you need in your Boot Room.


Aunty Doris’s grandson, Rhys, alerted me her appearance in Google Street view. Incredible.