A web overlay on the City A new level of urban representation and visual experience

Matteo G. Romanato

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The informational overload is not just new in our era. Since the 1980’s it has been forecast that information would have been not only a renewable material, but even a self-generating resource, in which the risk was drowning (Naisbitt, 1982). After more than 30 years we can say that such a prediction was correct or even underestimated. The terms “data mining” (Cabena et al., 1997) or “big data” (Mayer-Schönberger; Cukier, 2013) are nowadays part of our vocabulary and not only inside the academic environment. Inside this panorama the web-based turn of informational technology has a main role in implementing the amount of texts, notices, news, numbers, literatures, reports, narratives and so on. If we look at this process from the internet audience point of view we can detect important outcomes such as a widespread multimedia loudness as a permanent soundtrack of our lives. This pervasive influence of the techno-media could have deep effects on human psychology (De Kerckhove, 2000) which are still to be discussed. But among these complex sets of phenomena what is interesting, in the field of urban studies, is the overabundance of images and in particular of city images which are available in an incomparable dimension until short time ago. Showing an overlook of this new dimension of a visual-urban performance is just the aim of this paper.



Photo flows; visual sociology; urban imagery; place sentiment

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Photo flows; visual sociology; urban imagery; place sentiment

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