|2004||Brian House,Christopher Allen,Jesse Shapins|
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“We were thinking about the official versus the lived experience of place, and wanting the everyday and the more personal, banal, and individual to stand out on the map alongside landmarks and attractions—trying to emphasize a different view of the city.”
Christopher Allen, Author
The geo-annotation project Yellow Arrow, by Christopher Allen, Brian House, and Jesse Shapins ran from 2004 to 2006, spanning from the Lower East Side of Manhattan to nearly 40 countries around the world. The original website describes the annotation process:
Participants place uniquely coded Yellow Arrow stickers to draw attention to different locations and objects […]. By sending an SMS from a mobile phone to the Yellow Arrow phone number beginning with the arrow’s unique code, Yellow Arrow authors essentially save a thought on the spot where they place their sticker. Messages range from short poetic fragments to personal stories to game-like prompts to action.
When other people came across the sticker, they could send its code to the Yellow Arrow phone number, and receive the saved message as an SMS on their mobile phone. They also had the option to reply via SMS and send a return message to the original author. This early use of mobile devices for location-based storytelling shows how participatory approaches can enable collaborative narratives and a more complex understanding of place.