Urban Sensing: Out of the Woods

Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery

UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 08-02

10 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2008 Last revised: 29 Sep 2014

See all articles by Dana Cuff

Dana Cuff

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Urban Planning

Mark Hansen

University of California, Los Angeles - Department of Statistics

Jerry Kang

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Abstract

A fundamental shift is underway in pervasive computing. Within academic research, pervasive computing in the form of embedded networked sensing has leapt from the laboratory to the natural environment. Simultaneously, in the domain of personal communication and corporate marketing, pervasive computing has entered the backpack, purse, and coat pocket in the form of mobile phones, laying the groundwork for Mark Weiser's vision of ubiquitous computing. We characterize this contextual shift as urban sensing, which augurs a fundamental transition from science and engineering into the realms of politics, aesthetics, interpretation, and motivation. More than a change in degree, this is a change in kind that warrants careful, transdisciplinary study. In this paper, three authors representing the fields of architecture and urban planning, statistics and visual arts, and the law explore how urban sensing can help produce a data commons with public sphere benefits. But the construction of some such data commons cannot simply be assumed; instead, the commons must be encouraged and built. We conclude by examining certain dangerous fates, such as the tragedy of the cyclops, to strive to avoid.

Keywords: pervasive computing, privacy, sensors, ubiquitous computing, data commons

Suggested Citation

Cuff, Dana and Hansen, Mark and Kang, Jerry, Urban Sensing: Out of the Woods. Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery; UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 08-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1092932

Dana Cuff

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Urban Planning ( email )

Box 951656
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Mark Hansen

University of California, Los Angeles - Department of Statistics ( email )

8125 Math Sciences
UCLA
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Jerry Kang (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
310-206-7298 (Phone)
310-206-7010 (Fax)

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