ultrasonic hat, 2012

Mapmaking has been a fundamental part of the human history for a long time. Starting from the first cave paintings (map of stars in Lascaux), people create and use maps to define, explain, and navigate their way through the world. In our digital era maps are generated by a multitude of computative technologies and scientific method, with Satellites (GPS), WIFI triangulation, LIDAR scans or photographs, mostly to create an objective and accurate representation of the world.

In the project ultrasonic hat a mixture of objective/subjective maps are generated by raw measurements of electronic sensors combined with the personal scale (height, step length) and action (counting steps) of the mapmaker. The hat is equipped with two ultrasonic distance sensors to the left and right side of the hat, a digital compass and one button for counting steps – all connected to a microcontroller-board to interpret and store the data. Based on this data non precise two dimensional maps are generated to show the personal walk with the detected surrounding.

First walks were done in November 2012 in San Sperate (Sardinia) by Jonas Hansen (sensor height: 182 cm, step size: 65 cm) as part of the Dislocations workshop by Paidia Institute and Noarte.