Have you ever wondered what the infosphere looks like? Dutch designer Richard Vijgen’s app Architecture of Radio is a field guide to the hidden world of digital networks.
The infosphere in which we live consists of a complex network of signals, Wi-Fi, radio masts and GPS satellites that completely surround us 24/7 to make our hyper connected world possible. Our (digital) lives depend on these material, though invisible, systems for communication, observation and navigation.
Architecture of Radio shows this network of networks, the otherwise invisible technological landscape through which we interact with our devices. The app is a data visualization based on freely accessible datasets of transmission masts, Wi-Fi and satellite locations. Based on your GPS location, it makes you give a 360-degree look at infosphere. The dataset consists of almost seven million radio masts, 19 million Wi-Fi routers and hundreds of satellites.
For the documentary Offline is the New Luxury, Vijgen designed the White Spots app. This app shows the global digital divide very clearly. The dark areas on the world map are connected to the Internet, while the white spots are the places without Internet access. The app also offers to disconnect you, based on your location it navigates you to the nearest white spot where you can be offline.
Have you ever desired to escape the information flow surrounding us? Both apps visualize the invisible electromagnetic cloud we live in and offer a way out. In this moment the nearest white spot is 51 kilometres away, located right on the banks of a river somewhere in a nature reserve. A place that does not seem very easily accessible as it appears on Google’s satellite mode.
Want to join the global expedition to the end of the Internet? You can download the app here.