Transit Zones, Locales, and Locations: How Digital Annotations Affect Communication in Public Places

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Transit Zones, Locales, and Locations: How Digital Annotations Affect Communication in Public Places


  • Eric Lettkemann Institute of Sociology, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
  • Ingo Schulz-Schaeffer Institute of Sociology, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany


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Abstract:  The article presents an analytical concept, the Constitution of Accessibility through Meaning of Public Places (CAMPP) model. The CAMPP model distinguishes different manifestations of public places according to how they facilitate and restrict communication between urbanites. It describes public places along two analytical dimensions: their degree of perceived accessibility and the elaboration of knowledge necessary to participate in place-related activities. Three patterns of communicative interaction result from these dimensions: civil inattention, small talk, and sociability. We employ the CAMPP model as an analytical tool to investigate how digital annotations affect communicative patterns and perceptions of accessibility of public places. Based on empirical observations and interviews with users of smartphone apps that provide digital annotations, such as Foursquare City Guide, we observe that digital annotations tend to reflect and reinforce existing patterns of communication and rarely evoke changes in the perceived accessibility of public places.

Keywords:  annotation; civil inattention; Foursquare; locative media; perceived accessibility; public places; small talk; sociability; social worlds; Tabelog

Published:   23 July 2021


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v9i3.3934


© Eric Lettkemann, Ingo Schulz-Schaeffer. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.