Hey, I’m Briony, and I’m on the iPhD Web Science course.
My cohort has recently received instruction on the coursework for this module. After a couple of weeks spent debating, researching and discussing ideas I believe we now have a vague idea regarding what areas we would like to focus our reports on. Throughout this process I have learnt several things:
Firstly, deciding on a singular topic with regards to two disciplinary perspectives is much harder than I had imagined. That covers an awful lot of potential things.
Despite knowing of many interesting areas, subjects, and ground-breaking research it was very difficult to be able to pick a precise topic simply because there were so many of them. In fact, it made me realise how integral interdisciplinary research was not only in academia and research, but also in industry and personal lives also.
Secondly, I was going to have to put on my proverbial ‘rose-tinted glasses’.
Coming from a background in human geography, we were taught to look at certain focal issues, core topics, and influential matters via the means of different perspectives. Obviously these differed depending on the subject: when looking at geopolitics one may assess the situation by a comparison between Marxism or Capitalism. (One moment, I’m going to step outside and put my ‘Marxist glasses on’ before I take a look).
Thirdly, the interesting twist to looking at a topic initially dictated by a general subject, and then following up with multiple perspectives within that discipline, proved to be more complex and fascinating than I had thought.
Geographical virtual environments (geoVE’s) are my chosen topic to discuss. Id chosen it for many reasons: Id always wanted to learn more about the software development side (as I have no technical background), Id always wondered how the costs may vary (how much would one even cost to set up?), its a ground-breaking new mapping software based on previous software, they’re a product of interdisciplinary research between physical geographers and computer programmers, they have an incredible potential to advance real-time data collection on the web, and will change the ways in which we perceive space and place.
The last two points are crucial. Place and space as a geographical core concept are part of the fundamentals of geographical human theory. And yet, through the web, networks, transport links, media and globalisation this is being challenged and adapted. Some even allow for individuals to upload information regarding an area of a city within the geoVE, reflecting what is occurring in real-life.
As a result geoVE’s have massive data collection potential, including improvements to building planning and changes to services or infrastructures within cities. GeoVE’s can allow simulations and predictions unlike any other software. A few are even using gaming platforms to host online big-data storage before – something that has never before been achieved.
To address and report within the subject of Human Geography I am choosing to narrow the field down to only Economic Geography, as I believe this will be integral to future applications in cities. This is broken down into three main perspectives: Evolutionary, Socio-evolutionary and Complex.
In contrast my other discipline will be Computer Science. I will again specify this to Software Development within the subject. This is broken down into three main perspectives in organisational Software Devleopment: Integration, Differentiation and Fragmentation.
I’ve begun to formalise my ideas for the poster and report based on the structure outlined above, and remain somewhat hopeful that it will all tie in together nicely. We shall see…