Tag: territory

My Map app

I created a new app called Mymap,  working on the concept to expend our territories and encourage to reflect on all the place we will have to discover in our life, as well as the one we will never see.

De Certeau argues that the act of walking selects and fragments the space traversed; it skips over links and whole parts that is omits. Moreover it can “be traced on city maps in such a way as to transcribe their paths and their trajectories. But these thick or thin curves only refer, like words, to the absence of what has passed by. A spacial order organises an ensemble of possibilities and interdictions, then the walker actualises some of these possibilities. In that way, he makes them exists as well as emerge.” [3]. It is what the app is doing: revealing the choices taken, the places visited or the path used, while the rest is hidden behind a white layer.

This is the mockup of my idea.

In my head it was quite a simple idea (coming from a person who don’t have any experience in coding yet) but in application it has been quite difficult and several iteration of the app had been necessary.

First I thought it would have been possible to make a reverse heat map: instead of having colours appearing on a layer on top of the map, it would make transparent the white layer. In practice what was possible is to draw a white layer on google maps by giving the points clockwise then removing polygons from this layer by giving the point anticlockwise. It created a lot of different issues: closing the route every time we created a new point: drawing the territory and not the route; superposed polygons resulting on re-masking the map…


The solution came up with the discovery of hulljs. Using a complex algorithm, it draws around the GPS points the route.

The app uses phone gap, a free and open source framework that allows you to create mobile apps using standardized web APIs for web platforms as well as mobile app with the same code. The language is Java Script. To store the routs (even is it not possible yet with the current version) HTML5 Local Storage will be use. Google maps API, Cordova plugin geolocation and the GPS of the phone are used as well.

I am already thinking about a future version of the app. I would like to make the map appearing in different shade of colours: for example the area you use all the time (’your territory’: going to work and back home for example) would be tinted in red, whereas the one you visited only once would be blue. it would allow a better understanding of the territory.

For complementary informations about the app (interface, calculus of the opacity), or more references have a look to the slides of my presentation and my research.

Why children walk less ?

50 – 70 years ago (not so long), most of children were coming back from school walking alone. It is illustrated in movies: ‘mon oncle’ Tati, or ‘La guerre des boutons’ Yves Robert. Now, most of them come back in cars with the parents.

Studies show that kids walk less and less: survey in 2008 in Languedoc-Roussillon estimate ‘70% of all movement of a child between 6 to 14, are in cars.’

(on the graph bellow: ….. Walk – Cars __ )


Don’t go to far

Why did they not walk more ? Because they are forbidden.

Le médecin britannique William Bird, doctor in Britain, showed it with the exemple of a family, comparing the radius of the area where people were allowed to walk as a 8 years old child on 4 generations.

  • in 2007,  Ed Thomas could go alone at the end of his street, less than 300m of his house.
  • in 1979, his mom, could go to the swimming pool, 800m of his home.
  • in 1950, his grand father could go the the forest, more than 1.5km of his home.
  • in 1919, his grand grand father, could go fishing at more than 10km.

Young kids are not forbidden to walk, but face a lot of bans. They can’t go over some spacial borders around the house, like a tree or another house. Most often a 10 years old child can’t go on the other side of the road (Pascal Legué, urbanist and anthropologue).

Because of cars

Since the XIX century, kids starts to loose a social function in town (Philippe Ariès, historian), moreover, it is in the XX century that starts the desertion of streets by kids. The kids who run and play in streets, disappear from our imaginary, and we saw them in reserved space, as parcs, playground, or halls. For the historian it is the fault of cars and urbanists, who builded cities for adults who have a car. Because a young kid doesn’t have the ability to react against the speed of a car, we removed the right to access the city.

On the graph bellow:
– space for 7-13 years old
– limit of the distance for 7-10 years old
– limit of the distance for 11-13 years old


Transformation to our relationship to the world

These modifications have important conséquences on children. We notice that they have less endurance than 30 years ago: physical aptitude decrease of 2% every 10 years, although studies shows that a walking daily and continuously, could  check this deterioration.

To give back the right to walk, urbanist Thierry Paquot propose to forbidden cars around school 15 minutes before and after the start and finish of the day. He also propose to rethink the entrance of the schools: where they installed barriers to move away childs from car parks: the space could become a space for exchange and play, garden could be developed in order to create a common intergenerational life space. Instead we think for cars and confines everyone on a reserved space.

I wrote it being inspired by a french article on the subject in Rue89.

David Mesguich

“In a obsessional way David travels cities and develops an atypical mapping by focusing his interest for all which,in those spaces of passage separates and divides up. By drawing and by monumental installations in-situ that he re-appropriates some parcels of those aseptic territoriesHe turns his gaze to our world-cities, through which we construct our thoughts, identities, individual existences and even poetic speech. It is not that we find ourselves succumbing to the power of denial; the desire to reject the universe in which we are always, and undeniably a part of. On the contrary, we must seek to get through it as we can, to pass by the rifts, to follow through the arteries of our existence, to explore its folds. It’s a question of making live the movement of an eye which uses trickery with the objectives of CCTV, which challenges the modes of control and which tries to open the perspectives of a singular vision.”
“The story of “pressure” it’s the story of people who are on the fence, inbetween worlds, those who are both on the inside and on the outside.”