this is aaronland

1,000 generations

the voice from above

I've forgotten where I first came across the phrase the voice from above. It is taken from a quote by the French architect Le Corbusier following his first plane flight over the city of Paris. The quote in full reads:

Until then men had been aware of one voice only from above – bellowing or thundering – the voice of the storm.

It was around the time that geotagging was focus of work at Flickr and it became a passage that found its way in to a lot of presentations on the subject. It was also the time when Flickr started treating airports as localities:

Very quietly, last May, we updated the reverse-geocoding logic to stop looking for the nearest town when a photo is geotagged at an airport and instead treat the airport itself as the town [to reflect their evolution] from being simple gateways to captial-P places with their own culture, norms and gravity.

Geotagging things was the catalyst for a lot of personal work around stylized dot maps of satellite imagery to contextualize things which produced the cluster map books for travel photos and the untitled intimacies pictures for Twitter posts. It was still a time when the first reaction to technologies like geotagging and location services wasn't to automatically imagine the worst case scenario.

Fast forward to last week when we released a thing at the museum which is what made the following possible 1,000 generations after Flickr.