Location-Aware Mobile Technologies

de Souza e Silva, A. (2013). Location-Aware Mobile Technologies: Historical, social, and spatial approaches. Mobile Media and Communication, 1 (1), 116-121. DOI: 10.1177/2050157912459492.

Translation in Portuguese: de Souza e Silva, A. (2013). Tecnologias Móveis de Posicionamento: Abordagens históricas, sociais e espaciasVerso e Reverso, XXVII (64), 19-23. DOI: 10.4013/ver.2013.27.64.03.

Abstract: With the popularization of smartphones, location-based services are increasingly part of everyday life. People use their cell phones to find nearby restaurants and friends in the vicinity, and track their children. Although location-based services have received sparse attention from mobile communication scholars to date, the ability to locate people and things with one’s cell phone is not new. Since the removal of GPS signal degradation in 2000, artists and researchers have been exploring how location-awareness influences mobility, spatiality, and sociability. Besides exploring the historical antecedents of today’s location-based services, this article focuses on the main social issues that emerge when location-aware technologies leave the strict domain of art and research and become part of everyday life: locational privacy, sociability, and spatiality. Finally, this article addresses two main topics that future mobile communication research that focuses on location-awareness should take into consideration: a shift in the meaning of location, and the adoption and appropriation of location-aware technologies in the global south.