Memo about my research

After having focused on the cognitive impacts of awareness tools in a collaborative video-game, my phD will adress the question of the social and cognitive effects of context-awareness tools in collaborative mobile activities. I have to find a joint activity where users are engaged in joint tasks that require collaboration and mobility. I am considering using geological field studies. Last week, I met a guy at ENS Lyon named Vincent Lignier who is a sedmentologist. He explained me briefly how they work (actually I know this sort of thing since I have a degree in biology/geology) taking the example of a mission he participated in. This conversation was very interesting since there it seems to be a niche for the use of social navigation.


The objective of this project led by Pr. Dr. Beck Christian was to provide a detailed sedimentary record of changes in precipitation and temperature in the Chilean Lake District for the last 10,000 years, in order to define the regional impact of “El NiƱo Southern Oscillation”.

The research was divided in three parts :
– A detailed geophysical reconnaissance allowed to select the most suitable lakes for this purpose and to locate in these lakes the most appropriate sites for coring.
– Coring
– Multidisciplinary analysis of long sediment cores from two selected lakes.

The sites for coring are located thanks to GPS stuff. It could be interesting to provide teams with mobile devices that can enable them to “attach” information (like geophysical data, seismic surveys, geotek analysis …) to GPS points. We can also imagine a wearable socialnav application to help them between phase one and two.

I think I have to explore literature about socialnav to find out relevant stuff for this domain… I have already found articles written by Paul Dourish (he’s the guy who introduced the concept of socialnav in 1994) and other things worth to read. I like this term of “Footprint in the snow” as a metaphor for socialnav !