Consider Google Earth, as described by the University of Southern California’s Viewfinder project:
There is something almost cosmic about flying around in Google Earth. It allows world travel at lightning speed. It cultivates a sense of global awareness on a visceral level. And it places you in a reference frame akin to astral projection, ultimately altering your perception of the planet, and of yourself.Flickr:
There is something equally significant about Yahoo Flickr, albeit on a folksier, more grounded plane. Simply providing people with a means to share their photographs has resulted in a library of over 2 billion images. These photos are tagged and organized in an organic, ad hoc, bottom-up manner, often referred to as a “folksonomy.” Community-based tagging allows new and often idiosyncratic cross-cuts through the database – through tags such as “cats in sinks,” “scattered images,” and “blue,” for example – and while these may seem trivial to outsiders, the tags are pertinent and highly significant to the communities from which they emerge.
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