The Urban, Infrastructural Geography Of ‘The Cloud’

by Alan Wiig, Vantage

The relationship between data to space extends beyond the network equipment, services, and mobile devices that transmit and present information to a user. Pervasive wireless connectivity and ubiquitous computing, as ‘the cloud’ are central, common elements of contemporary urban life. Data centers translate, as it were, between individuals and their experience of the city by mediating experiences through digital augmentation. An example of this is Google Maps’ locative ability to place the user on the map and then orient said user to wherever they need to go. While data is largely immaterial except in the action it enables, like getting you to your meeting with that map, the storage, maintenance, and transmission of data require many layers of interfacing telecommunication infrastructure that function nearly everywhere but are always, inherently embedded in particular places.

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