Emerson in Beijing, 2008

Cash and Carry 2008

In 2006, I saw a Sony GPS logger at a trade show, and it captured my imagination about how geotagging might change visual storytelling. In 2008, I brought 33 students to work at the Beijing Olympic Games, and I conceived a project where we would strap GPS loggers to student backpacks and match their photos and text messages to their location. The project was calledEmerson in Beijing. Later I worked on another geotagged story with students about a trend toward cash-only stores in downtown Boston.

In the early days of geotagging, a separate device would log your position and a software app would match the time stamp on a photo with the GPS log. Today, the process is automated within every smartphone.