The Political Economics of Mobile Location-based Services, by Dr Rowan Wilken, Melbourne

To close the Mobile Life's Visiting Seminar series for summer, we welcome a speaker from Melbourne, Australia - to speak about the economics of location based services. Dr Rowan Wilken is a Senior Research Fellow in the Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract

This paper examines the ongoing significance of location services and mobile-generated geocoded data, including their increasing integration into the core functionalities and business objectives of large social media, search, and other services. Taking a political economy of the media and platform studies approach, I argue that the global significance of companies such as Facebook and Uber is amplified significantly when they are conceived of as location platforms. While much of the attention on location-based services has been directed to the likes of Google and Foursquare, both Facebook and now Uber have set out to build or acquire the necessary infrastructure in order to extract meaningful location data at scale. The paper will reflect on the motivations and ambitions of both companies in setting out to strengthen their geodata capture capabilities.

Bio

Dr Rowan Wilken is a Senior Research Fellow in the Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. His present research interests include mobile and locative media, digital technologies and culture, theories and practices of everyday life, domestic technology consumption, and old and new media. He has published widely on mobile and location-based media. He is the co-editor (with Gerard Goggin) of Locative Media (Routledge, 2015) and Mobile Technology and Place(Routledge, 2012), and is the author of Teletechnologies, Place, and Community (Routledge, 2011). At present he is working on two books: Cultural Economies of Locative Media (Oxford University Press), and (with Justin Clemens) the edited collection The Afterlives of Georges Perec (Edinburgh University Press). He is also incoming editor of Australia’s premier media and communication journal, Media International Australia.

Date/time: 
Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 11:00
Location: 
SICS. room Knuth
Isafjordsgatan 22
Kis
Sweden
SE