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Inokashira Zoo Park Project (2007)

Inokashira Zoo Park Project

The Inokashira Zoo Park Project is an artistic research project to enhance visitors’ experience with new media technologies. This project was a collaboration with Apple Computer Japan. Through this project, we realized the following projects:
– special kids workshop program
– otonoha: audio guide system created by kids
– heatbeat: audio service to listen to heartbeats of animals
– animal eyes: visual service to have same views as animals
– inokashira player: integrated mash-up web visualization of the zoo park

Recent developments surrounding the Web are described as Web 2.0. The information generated online is tending to be not only designed by authorized editors but also changed dynamically depending on the end-users’ intention and environment. One such tool used to achieve this interaction is a Mashup web application – a set of several combined online APIs produced regardless of any profit or commercial value. A Mashup design is able to construct a single story from multiple information sources, thereby launching new services everyday that providers will be unable to predict.

The Zoo Project was a trial project to test how Mashup contents can link facilities to the real world. We conducted this research in the Inokashira Zoo Park – a small zoo in Tokyo operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. This project started as a research investigation including workshops to realize a medium for promoting the zoo.

In this project we implemented the Mashup web contents titled Inokashira Player to generate online information solely linked with the real “places” and “animals” of Inokashira Zoo Park. When people access this web application online, the contents are reflected by the time of access and the weather information of Inokashira Park Zoo (online weather reports are used to generate real-time weather graphics). In front of each animal are icons representing staff members, which when clicked returns an image library based on the animal. There are also icons representing the zoo visitors, which when clicked displays the viewpoints and opinions of previous visitors to that specific animal in Inokashira Park Zoo (extracted from Blogs using the Google API). For example, by retrieving information from the keywords “Inokashira Park Zoo and Elephant”, the application is able to visualize real-time viewpoints of visitors to this animal.

This application’s main feature is to realize information design extracted from the real space by retrieving unique keywords (in this case ‘Inokashira Zoo Park’) and a name for each animal. Thus the idea of linking personal blogs to unique names and physical spaces enables us to aquire a reflection of the viewpoints and opinions in society.

Project page

Inokashira Zoo Project

Project Leader: Yutaro Ohashi
Chief: Yuichi Tamagawa + Taizo Zushi
Concept: Hideaki Ogawa, Yuichi Tamagawa, Taizo Zushi
Web Visualization: Yuichi Tamagawa, Hideaki Ogawa, Yoko Minagawa
Database System: Taizo Zushi
Workshop System: Junichi Yura
Sound Design: Yui Yonekawa
Art Direction: Hideaki Ogawa