Adriana de Souza e Silva and Eric Gordon
Whether browsing for location-specific content on a desktop computer or using location services on a smartphone, physical location is a factor in how users experience information. In this chapter, Adriana de Souza e Silva and Eric Gordon name the context of located information production and retrieval “net locality.” They describe how net locality is transforming user experiences of the web and physical spaces by altering the logic with which data are organized and distributed. Net locality is changing how users occupy public and private spaces, they argue, as connections to other people and spaces become more flexible and porous. Finally, they identify two modes of surveillance inherent in net locality: top-down and collateral monitoring. The tracking of user location by government and corporations facilitates the former; users tracking each other for the purpose of social connection facilitate the latter. Each is constructive of power relations that affect the nature of location-based user interactions.
As people become more comfortable with the ubiquity of networks in their lives, they become less comfortable with being disconnected.1 Leaving the house without a cell phone or getting in the car without a GPS device might cause feelings ...