Saturday, 20 September 2014

signal drift

The ever-excellent BLDGBLOG has brilliant featured called Celestial Chiaroscuro about the precision and the slippage of Global Positioning triangulation. There is a poetic installation of street lamps programmed to dip in brightness whenever their true position drifts away from their reported satellite telemetry, but this effect can also be demonstrated with one's personal gadgets by leaving a stride-counter exercise application running overnight one's nightstand. It will report a crazy somnambulist's path that shows the gadget trying to find itself again after the signal drifted, as if it had some sort of out-of-body experience or was scooted around the bedroom by a poltergeist. This is a strange parallel world of mapping and plotting whose overlays need continual recalibration.