motion capture, flickr and more

“Are you on the set?” was the question posed to me as I parked (illegally it turned out) in the court yard next to the building I thought I was looking for. This was Hollywood, and I was there to meet with people at MotionAnalysis to learn a bit more about motion capture, tracking etc, and more specifically, to talk to Dave Blackburn who has been an important figure in the field for a long time, and who has also done great work also in relation to on-screen virtual environments etc. It was a very good visit, and I have a much better sense of things now – at least the more high-end side of things. Professional-grade stuff, of course, and well-contextualized. Look at some of their work! I got quite a few pointers for our thinking about these things.

On Tuesday, I met with Noah Wardrip-Fruin at UCSD and I also attended a talk by Cicero Inacio da Silva on “From Browsing to ZigZag: a theoretical study of Theodor Nelson’s ZigZag project”. I also met with out friends out UCHRI at UC Irvine discussing collaboration. It was great getting together with Noah as we have tried to find a time for a meeting for some time now. He is doing excellent work, and has also a more over-arching interest for the emerging field of digital humanities.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending two talks – BrainJam – at Yahoo! Research here in Berkeley together with a friend from archeaology here (there is some very progressive work going on here in archeaology).

Mor Naaman: Over-Exposed Privacy Patterns and Considerations in Online and Mobile Photo Sharing 

Morgan Ames: Why We Tag: Motivations for Annotation in Mobile and Online Media


Among other things, Ames discussed different fuctions of flickr use – organization and communication – in relation to the parameter of sociality (self- social). She stressed that there are often multiple motivations for tagging – and that communication is an important and not always apparent use of tagging. I would like to have a closer look at her research. Interesting stuff. Naaman presented an analysis of how ZoneTags is used, and in particular, how privacy is seen and handled. He talked about issues such as security, identity managment, sharing convenience and social disclosure. Both talks also dicussed design implications.

It really seems like they are developing some very interesting tools here, and it was great to hear about some of the work going on at Yahoo and elsewhere. ZoneTag and Flickr behavior were in focus. There are some zonetagged photos from the talks (location tagged Berkeley) here. There was a good group of people there, and I made some contacts (I believe), and I also got to learn about interesting research. Apart from the researchers presenting, quite a few references was made to Nancy Van House‘s work (she was also present). Well worth looking into more closely – here is a list of her publications. Very impressive breadth and interest in HUMlab-like matters. There was time for snacks and drinks (they seemed to have a very good supply!) afterwards, and I got to talk to people working with Flickr among other things. Among things discussed were photos taken of inworld activities, APIs and innovation strategies.