HyperCities: Building the First Web 3.0 Learning Platform

Built out of and on top of real cities, “HyperCities” is a revolutionary learning platform that augments the space and time of the physical world with the information web and renders the experience of the World Wide Web geographic and temporal. A HyperCity is a real city overlaid with its geo-temporal information, ranging from its architectural and urban history to family genealogies and the stories of the people and diverse communities who live and lived there. Our first HyperCities are Los Angeles, Berlin, Lima, and Rome. As a platform that reaches deeply into archival collections and aggregates content across the Web, HyperCities not only transforms how information is produced, stored, retrieved, shared, repurposed, and experienced but also transforms how human beings interact with information and one another in space and time. The project asks some of the most fundamental learning questions: Where are you from? What used to be here? What happened here in the past?

Born out of Web 2.0 social technologies, HyperCities represents a radically new educational environment that links generations and knowledge communities, mobilizing an array of new technologies (from GPS-enabled cell phones to GIS mapping tools and geo-temporal databases) to pioneer a truly participatory, open-ended learning ecology grounded in the space and time of the real world. By connecting digital information with the physical world, HyperCities aims to become the first learning platform for supporting the revolution of Web 3.0, the birth of the geo-temporal human Web.

At the Where Fair, we will showcase the Web 3.0 urban planning behind the newest HyperCities. Users will navigate through monstrously large geo-temporal oral histories and photographic archives of Los Angeles, join a three-dimensional archaeological expedition in Ancient Rome, explore the cartographic layering of geo-referenced maps in Berlin, and choose between alternate architectural futures in Lima.

HyperCities Berlin will be launched in January 2008. The website is http://www.hypercities.com

To watch the evolution of the 3D Eternal City (warning: high-performance graphics card required), please visit: http://www.etc.ucla.edu/research/projects/UCLAETC.kml

Photo of Yoh Kawano

Yoh Kawano

UCLA Academic Technology Services

Yoh Kawano is UCLA’s Campus GIS Coordinator, where he supports collaborative environments between interdisciplinary groups, serving as a catalyst to promote and advance spatial research interests. He also oversees a community of campus GIS users by conducting GIS workshops and managing a campus GIS knowledge base website.

Previously, Yoh Kawano worked as the Director of Information Technology for the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, where he oversaw strategic technology applications towards neighborhood empowerment, disaster and emergency management and academic research. His duties included the conceptualization, design and development of innovative information technology tools for web-based applications, Management Information Systems and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for community development-related projects. Yoh has represented CNK around the country and internationally. He was recently in Banda Aceh, Indonesia providing technical support to local NGO’s in the post-tsunami relief process.

Yoh is also a lecturer for the Urban Planning Department at UCLA where he teaches GIS Yoh has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the International Christian University of Tokyo, and a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from UCLA.

  • Autodesk
  • Google
  • ESRI
  • Nokia
  • DigitalGlobe
  • Earthscape
  • EveryScape.com
  • LightPole
  • MapJack
  • MapQuest
  • MetaCarta
  • Microsoft
  • Poly9
  • Skyhook Wireless
  • TeleAtlas
  • Yahoo! Inc.
  • Zvents
  • BNet

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