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Week 4 – Locative Media

Locative media… What is it?

To truly make sense of what locative media is all about lets look at the platform in which locative media is most commonly used on, mobile phones.

Dean Chan in his article Convergence, Connectivity, and the Case of Japanese Mobile Gaming (2008) discusses the convergence of cross-media that mobile phones have become.

old mobile phone

No longer are mobile phones just a way in which individuals communicate with one another through calling or sending SMS messages, mobile phones have become tools for individuals to listen to mp3, send emails, access the internet and the use of a camera to shoot videos and take pictures.

With the inclusion of location based tools such as GPS into mobiles and smart phones (Bilandzic & Foth 2012), the ability to track the movements of an individual in the real world to the digital world. This has given rise to two main forms of communication and interaction of individuals. They are ‘Location-based gaming’ and ‘Location-based social networking.

Chan (2008 p19) describes the premise of location-based gaming as:

The use of a Global Positioning System (GPS) so that the physical location of the player becomes integrated into the game play.

Check out the video below for a further explanation of location-based gaming.

Location-based social networking also utilises the mobile phones GPS, by allowing the individual to tag, rate, and recommend various public places such as cafes and restaurants (Bilandzic & Foth 2012). Organisations are now also looking to utilise location-based social networking as a way to market to individuals. See video below.

You can see a full list of both current and obsolete location-based social networking applications at

The use of locative media has a form communication and interaction has given rise to a number of issues non-more so than privacy. As Bilandzic & Foth explained that as our perceived physical boundaries and notions of space change, so do our social interactions and practices within these boundaries. This has brought on the notion of can you stalk or be stalked via location-based social networking and the first recorded cyber-stalking case in the UK through location-based social networking ‘Foursqure’.


Chan, D (2008) ‘Convergence, Connectivity, and the Case of Japanese Mobile Gaming,’
Games and Culture, 3.1 (2008, January): 13-25.

Bilandzic, A and M Foth (2012) ‘A review of locative media, mobile and embodied spatial
interaction’, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 70 (2012) 66–7


About samhardaker

In my final year of a Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies degree specialising in Digital Communications and Advertising Marketing. Working at University of Wollongong as Content Management Officer (Digital & Web).

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