This project is modern, technological adaptation of the way that animals and ancient seafarers navigate the world. The device uses a microcontroller with a magnetic compass and accelerometer to counting a person's footfalls and determine their direction of heading. The device is a totally personal and autonomous navigation system that does not rely on any external technological systems such as satellites. The system allows a purely body-centred way of mapping our encounters with the world. Due to the unique way the the mapping system works, it allows to be used in spaces, where GPS would not work such as underground or in buildings.

It could be interesting to setup situations where workshop participants explore tunnels or similar hard to map/visualise spaces. For the workshop I am proposing, to build 3 devices that participants can borrow to walk with for a period of time. They can explore places that they know well or those that are unfamiliar to them. All they have to do is carry the Dead Reckoning device in their hand.

On return their personal step size is measured and their journey visualised. I have made a quick video from last years Psychogeophysics event where I built the first prototype.

The red dots are places where the walker turned sharply, indicating corners and moments of encounter with the world. From previous experience with the Bio Mapping project, these corner points are attention points that anchor people's memory of a walk. The idea of the workshops is that multiple personal journeys can be overlaid. A partial map of the city will slowly emerge, distorted by the uniqueness of people's body and step sizes and their idiosyncrasies of walking. The animations that result from their journeys can be projected during the workshop.

Christian Nold, 2011

Documentation from building the prototypes of the new devices and then using them during the the Psychogeophysics event.

We have a simultaneous 3 people recording from the walk where we go looking for aliens and get into the airbase.

Take a a look at the files. The thickness of the lines is the pitch - ie the amount of tilt of the device. You can see a few clear features. 1 when we stop at the East gate 2 Bury the electronics equipment in the area of 'static' 3 bending down to crawl through the fence to get into the airbase 4 Running to get away from the off duty squadies

Also compare it with the GPS recording made by Daniel. You can see the same distinctive 'Z' shape of the walk

Files are here:

View the films fullscreen

summit2011/dead_reckoning.txt · Last modified: 2011/09/01 13:19 by softhook
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