PirateMaps: disruptive WiFi map server on Raspberry Pi

  • ©ISEA2015: 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art, Josh Harle, PirateMaps: disruptive WiFi map server on Raspberry Pi


Presentation Title:

  • PirateMaps: disruptive WiFi map server on Raspberry Pi



  • In this talk Dr Josh Harle will introduce his PirateMaps project: an easily deployable, disruptive WiFi map server running on the Raspberry Pi platform. PirateMaps are a tool for creative/ vernacular/ radical cartography. They present radical alternatives to the ubiquitous Google map; different modes and priorities of representation outside of the usual productive logic, e.g. by displaying a child’s hand-drawn map of the area showing their favourite spaces. These maps are offline and localised; they challenge the relevance of global, monolithic models of the world, and instead inhabit their own localities with their own spatial narratives.
    A PirateMap appear as open WiFi networks in your vicinity, and on connecting directs the user straight to the interactive map. The map has the same functionality as Google Maps (GPS-based geolocating, touch-gestures for moving and zooming), but display whatever map tiles the creative cartographer has decided to share. The maps servers take about half-an-hour to set up from a Raspbian base install. Harle provides step-by- tep instructions on the set-up of PirateMaps, as well as tools for creating your own map tiles.
    Beyond their use as open alternative maps, PirateMaps offer the possibility of a network of localised community maps across the world, with a standardised name and password. For example, squatMap’s WiFi password might be shared to offer a protected map of local squats that doesn’t require an internet connection. The talk will include an open discussion of possibilities for creative and socially disruptive uses.