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TerraLine

Vaibhav Bhawsar

TerraLine is a compass like instrument that reveals distant events occurring on Earth.

http://terraline.recombine.net/

Classes Thesis

The TerraLine re-appropriates the magnetic compass to show directions that are not cardinal but indicators of economic states. It is an instrument that helps one navigate Earth using such directions.Navigating or orienting ourselves in such ways could offer opportunities of envisioning and exploring our world from different perspectives.

Background
Compass Table - Fiona Raby and Anthony Dunne
The Big Mac Index - The Economist
Practices of the Situationists
The Listening Post - Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen

Texts:
Else/Where Mapping - Peter Hall and Janet Abrams
Field Guide to Getting Lost - Rebecca Solnit
Power of maps - Dennis Wood
Alison Sant - Redefining the basemap

User Scenario
There are two core modes of interaction within this instrument. Both these modes present the user with geographical information based on the chosen theme.

SEEK
diagram
In the seek mode the instrument reacts to dispersed information around you by pointing towards it using a motorized needle/pointer. In this mode the instrument behavior is closer to that of a compass. In this mode the instrument works like a show and tell device, by orchestrating a set of onscreen graphics and pointer movements

SCAN
diagram
The scan mode allows the user to scan the earth by pointing in a desired direction and triggering a chain of events which update the compass screen with information pertaining to the queried direction. Most of the resulting information is text based and is presented using onscreen graphics and typography.

Implementation
The instrument is composed of a 1 inch screen to display information and a set of control buttons to toggle interaction modes. A digital compass is used to keep track of the direction one is pointing in. All the data mining operations are processed on the server to which this device connects via bluetooth using serial protocol. This hardware setup provides a two way communication channel between the instrument and the server. All the components are housed in a wooden casing small enough to be handheld.