Workshop position papers

The “Technology on the Trail” workshop asked that each participant submit a position paper focusing on workshop themes. Each position paper includes a link to the paper, a link to a longer description with key questions and opportunity to comment and a brief description.

To download all position papers at once click here.

Workshop readings [papers and group discussion pages linked in brackets]

  • Michael Jones, Zann Anderson: What are the principles that guide the use of tech on trails? [paper, discussion]
    • Brief description: Our philosophy of tech on trails is grounded in two premises. First, recreational time spent on trails is a good thing. Second, interactive computing has a role in encouraging, enabling and enhancing time on trails. This paper highlights a possible research model and resource space that builds from trail-related roles like assessment and instruction, safety, navigation, reflection and motivation, social aspects, sensing, augmentation of human ability, notification, and information.
    • Key references:
  • Abigail Bartolome, Scott McCrickard, Ed Fox: Exploring Cultural Differences in the
    Triple Crown Trails [paper, discussion]

    • Brief description: What makes the Triple Crown trails different from each other, aside from their physical differences? Can we describe the “souls” of these trails? We discuss an early analysis of Twitter data to identify topic trends specific to each trail, and we outline future activities that we feel would be helpful in evolving our understanding of trail tweets.
    • Key references:
  • Birgit Krogstie: The Norwegian Sunday Walk [paper, discussion]
    • Brief description: This position paper proposes looking at the Norwegian “Sunday walk” as an interesting case for shedding light on the experience of being out in the forest, considering key elements such as context and knowledge. Understanding the experience is important in uncovering the potential for technology support. It is not a presentation of research, but a presentation of considerations made by a scientist in her spare time as she walks the local forest (for instance picking mushrooms). The main focus is not so much on technology use as the practice to which technology use (or non-use) should relate.
    • Key references:
      • Dourish, P. (2004). “What we talk about when we talk about context.” Personal and Ubiquitous Computing 8 (1), 19-30.
      • Harmon, Mary E. Computing as Context: Experiences of Dis/Connection Beyond the Moment of Non/Use. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Irvine (2015).
  • Brian McInnis: Hiking ideation [paper, discussion]
    • Brief description: In this position paper, I will review a few policy issues facing the U.S. National Parks as a way to speculate about the barriers to the design of crowd civic systems that might be used to generate solutions to systemic problems. Solution headers include: “Hikers might just want to hike”, “Some problems are perpetuated by the problem-solvers”, “Timing the task”, and “Visitors are not the only stakeholders”.
  • Shuo Niu, Alan Dix, Ellie Harmon, Don Taylor, Scott McCrickard: How Hiking Bloggers Explore Blogs with Interactive Text Visualization [paper, discussion]
    • Brief description: Temporally-connected online repositories, such as blogs and tweets about events and experiences like long multi-week hikes, provide opportunities and challenges when exploring and reflecting and planning new experiences. This position paper presents ways that blog authors explore their own long-term hiking blogs using a large multi-touch display tool, and discusses future directions for using interactive text visualization on surface devices to support data exploration, information organization and knowledge sharing.
    • Key references:
  • Lindah Kotut, Michael Horning: Who’s on the Trail: Identifying Trail Uses with Affinity Diagrams [paper, discussion]
    • Brief description: This position paper provides analysis from an activity at the last Technology on the Trail workshop that highlights reasons that people hike.
  • Navya Ram: Identifying Hiker Personas [paper, discussion]
    • Brief description: What can we learn about hikers based on their answers to a series of questions? This paper puts forth a statistical analysis of answers to questions by self-described hikers, revealing a number of hiking personas.
  • Melanie Trammell, Steve Harrison: A Walk on the Beach: Using Technology for Reflecting and Recording [paper, discussion]
    • Brief description: This position paper considers the intersection making sense of our environment with digital equipment, and how sensemaking can look different depending on the context and conventions one is adhering to. It is meant to follow on the ‘lunchtime walk’ and ‘Spectacle vs Experience’ sessions at the previous Technology on the Trail workshop last spring, led by Steve Harrison. We explore one of the prime examples of inquiry: a demonstration by workshop participant Andrew Kulak, in which he compares automatically-generated and user-created pictures.
  • Timothy Stelter and Scott McCrickard: Bringing Technology to Trails in
    Support of Citizen Science [paper, discussion]

    • Brief description: Mobile technologies are allowing us to be able to bring smartphones and other devices onto the trail without the worry of power constraints, weight, and cost. There lies an opportunity to utilize many outdoor communities such as hikers, mountaineers , boy/girl scouts, public officials, and more to become involved with citizen science and contribute useful data for specific problems on the trail. This position paper explores question involving identifying the user base, crafting mobile interactions and notification structures best suited for the environment, benefits and dangers of creating such technologies, and how we best understand the best direction to take to avoid interrupting the experience of users.