All posts filed under: BCM232

Opening A New Door: OpenStreetMap

Mapping has always been of significance within our society. From such maps, we are able to navigate ourselves, gain knowledge of what builds up a city or area and correctly estimate distances and directions. Though until recently, the art of mapping the Earth was “the preserve of highly skilled, well-equipped, and organised individuals and grounds” (Haklay, M, 2008, p. 1). Enter OpenStreetMaps, an online community of mappers who contribute to an online mapping source, maintaining and adding information and places (trails, roads, cafes) and more, to communities all around the world. Now, as of previous years, digital maps have been created and founded by major corporations, such as Google. Google on average, spends $1bn per annum on map maintenance, becoming apparently clear that this monopoly would have unprecedented influence over mapping communities. But isn’t this wrong? Should one company really be in control of deciding what is and isn’t important enough to be placed on a map? By having one large monopoly in charge of the way we map our communities and societies, “you are …

The Telegram: Internet’s Big Brother

Technology has the ability to reshape our very societies and impact our lives exponentially. Typically technological advancements are predicted to aid and help these societies grow and no two technologies have done this so more than the internet and the telegraph. Now let’s skip the basics. We all know what the internet is, right? Google, Facebook – basically a massive cyber brain which holds a tonne of information which we can access within a matter of seconds. But the telegraph, my friends, was the development of a long distance transmission system, which could send messages without physical exchanges. Now whilst there have been many developments of the telegraph, none have been more so important than that of the Morse system. Developed by Samuel Morse, the Morse system introduced to the world the first electrical telegraph. Soon, cities were able to communicate with each other, and then later countries. This was the very beginning of the communications systems that we take for granted today. But what do these two inventions have in common? Both technologies aided globalisation, …

Sex and the City: Orientalism Dressed In Gucci

The Sex and the City franchise is built up of six television seasons and two movies. The series has been widely praised on its groundbreaking approach to a number of social issues, tackling contemporary themes such as sexuality, promiscuity and femininity, whilst exploring the intricate nature of relationships, both romantic and platonic. However, Sex and the City 2 saw a completely new issue come to light. The movie sees the four New York women travel to Abu Dhabi, on an all-expenses-paid luxury trip. What follows is a very orientialistic and racist depiction of the Middle East. Orientalism is the exaggeration and distortion of Eastern cultures, as compared to Western cultures, even going as far as presenting “such cultures as exotic, backward, uncivilised, and at times dangerous“. The orient ultimately “creates an image outside of history, something that is placid and still, eternal…the creation of the ideal other… offers a marvellous instance of the interrelations between society, history and textuality” (Said, E, 2001). Right from the get go, the film has elements of orientalism. When Samantha breaks the news to the girls …