First draft of AR application

We are starting a development process of an AR application that will change the interiors of our Faculty building. The aims is to critically look at the possibility of AR being an agent of change – changing and transforming the meaning of place. We will start with map murals and then we will go forward, hopefully engaging our academic community.

Updates will be posted shortly.

A new map – a new meaning

EUROREG seminar presentation

On 21.04 I’ll be giving a presentation (in Polish) about spatial media and its use in urban studies. Below is the presentation as well as the list of references.

List of references

Arribas-Bel, D., Kourtit, K., Nijkamp, P., Steenbruggen, J., 2015. Cyber Cities: Social Media as a Tool for Understanding Cities. Appl. Spat. Anal. Policy.

Ball, J., 2002. Towards a methodology for mapping ‘regions for sustainability’ using PPGIS. Prog. Plan. 58, 81–140.

Berger, V., 2020. Phenomenology of Online Spaces: Interpreting Late Modern Spatialities. Hum. Stud. 43, 603–626.

Bos, D., 2021. Geography and virtual reality. Geogr. Compass 15, e12590.

Bos, D., Miller, S., Bull, E., 2021. Using virtual reality (VR) for teaching and learning in geography: fieldwork, analytical skills, and employability. J. Geogr. High. Educ. 1–10.

Champion, E.M., 2021. Rethinking Virtual Places. Indiana University Press.

Çöltekin, A., Lochhead, I., Madden, M., Christophe, S., Devaux, A., Pettit, C., Lock, O., Shukla, S., Herman, L., Stachoň, Z., Kubíček, P., Snopková, D., Bernardes, S., Hedley, N., 2020. Extended Reality in Spatial Sciences: A Review of Research Challenges and Future Directions. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 9, 439.

Crampton, J.W., 2009. Cartography: Maps 2.0. Prog. Hum. Geogr. 33, 91–100.

Crutcher, M., Zook, M., 2009. Placemarks and waterlines: Racialized cyberscapes in post-Katrina Google Earth. Geoforum 40, 523–534.

Gordon, E., Silva, A. de S. e, 2011. Net locality: why location matters in a networked world. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, West Sussex ; Malden, MA.

Hawelka, B., Sitko, I., Beinat, E., Sobolevsky, S., Kazakopoulos, P., Ratti, C., 2014. Geo-located Twitter as proxy for global mobility patterns. Cartogr. Geogr. Inf. Sci. 41, 260–271.

Hollenstein, L., Purves, R., 2010. Exploring place through user-generated content: Using Flickr tags to describe city cores. J. Spat. Inf. Sci. 21–48.

Janc, K., Jurkowski, W., 2020. Media spo\lecznościowe w czasie pandemii–przyk\lad profili wroc\lawskich rad osiedla na Facebooku. Rozw. Reg. Polityka Reg. 9–24.

Kaji, S., Kolivand, H., Madani, R., Salehinia, M., Shafaie, M., 2018. Augmented reality in smart cities: applications and limitations. J. Eng. Technol. 6, 19.

Kitchin, R., 2017. Understanding spatial media, 1st edition. ed. SAGE Inc, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Kitchin, R., Young, G.W., Dawkins, O., 2021. Planning and 3D Spatial Media: Progress, Prospects, and the Knowledge and Experiences of Local Government Planners in Ireland. Plan. Theory Pract. 1–19.

Kotus, J., Rzeszewski, M., Bajerski, A., 2018. Visitors in Urban Structures: Students and Tourists in the City.

Lee, R., Wakamiya, S., Sumiya, K., 2013. Urban area characterization based on crowd behavioral lifelogs over Twitter. Pers. Ubiquitous Comput. 17, 605–620.

Leszczynski, A., 2015. Spatial media/tion. Prog. Hum. Geogr. 39, 729–751.

Li, Y., Li, Q., Shan, J., 2017. Discover Patterns and Mobility of Twitter Users—A Study of Four US College Cities. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 6, 42.

Lin, H., Batty, M., 2009. Virtual geographic environments: a primer. Virtual Geogr. Environ. Sci. Press Beijing 1–10.

Massey, D., 2005. For space. Sage.

Mattern, S., 2017. Urban Dashboards, in: Understanding Spatial Media. SAGE Publications Ltd, 1 Oliver’s Yard, 55 City Road London EC1Y 1SP, pp. 74–83.

Mekni, M., 2018. Spatial simulation using abstraction of virtual geographic environments. Int. J. Digit. Earth 11, 334–355.

Moorman, L., Cerney, D., Gielstra, D., Foster, E., Villa Cerveny, N., 2021. From Real to Virtual Reality–Using the Geographic Advantage with Emerging Technology to Pivot an International Interdisciplinary Experience. Geogr. Teach. 18, 107–116.

Portman, M.E., Natapov, A., Fisher-Gewirtzman, D., 2015. To go where no man has gone before: Virtual reality in architecture, landscape architecture and environmental planning. Comput. Environ. Urban Syst. 54, 376–384.

Rzeszewski, M., 2018. Geosocial capta in geographical research – a critical analysis. Cartogr. Geogr. Inf. Sci. 18–30.

Rzeszewski, M., 2015. Cyberpejzaż miasta w trakcie megawydarzenia: Poznań, Euro 2012 i Twitter. Stud. Reg. Lokal. 123–137.

Rzeszewski, M., Evans, L., 2020. Virtual place during quarantine – a curious case of VRChat. Rozw. Reg. Polityka Reg. 57–75.

Rzeszewski, M., Orylski, M., 2021. Usability of WebXR Visualizations in Urban Planning. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 10, 721.

Saker, M., Frith, J., 2020. Coextensive space: virtual reality and the developing relationship between the body, the digital and physical space. Media Cult. Soc. 016344372093249.

Saßmannshausen, S.M., Radtke, J., Bohn, N., Hussein, H., Randall, D., Pipek, V., 2021. Citizen-Centered Design in Urban Planning: How Augmented Reality can be used in Citizen Participation Processes, in: Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2021. Presented at the DIS ’21: Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2021, ACM, Virtual Event USA, pp. 250–265.

Shelton, T., Poorthuis, A., Graham, M., Zook, M., 2014. Mapping the data shadows of Hurricane Sandy: Uncovering the sociospatial dimensions of ‘big data.’ Geoforum 52, 167–179.

Ugwitz, P., Juřík, V., Herman, L., Stachoň, Z., Kubíček, P., Šašinka, Č., 2019. Spatial Analysis of Navigation in Virtual Geographic Environments 22.

Unwin, D.J., Fisher, P., 2002. Virtual reality in geography. Taylor & Francis, London; New York.

Zasina, J., 2018. The Instagram Image of the City. Insights from Lodz, Poland. Bull. Geogr. Socio-Econ. Ser. 42, 213–225.

Zook, M., 2017. Crowd-sourcing the smart city: Using big geosocial media metrics in urban governance. Big Data Soc. 4, 205395171769438.

Zook, M.A., Graham, M., 2007. The creative reconstruction of the Internet: Google and the privatization of cyberspace and DigiPlace. Geoforum 38, 1322–1343.

New paper – Usability of WebXR Visualizations in Urban Planning

Thanks to Mateusz Orylski work we were able to publish the preliminary study on the usability of WebXR environments. We plan to expand this further in the project but it is already visible that this technology has potential when it comes to visualization for the public rather than within planning process. At least that is how our respondents saw this. Also, it is surprising how easy it was for our test users to navigate in environments that represented real life situations – like inspecting scale models.

You can access the full paper here on Research Gate or on the publishers website.

The abstract: Extended reality (XR) technology is increasingly often considered in practical applications related to urban planning and smart city management. It offers many advantages as a new visualization technique that gives its users access to places that are not available in material space and a unique perspective on existing objects. It can provide immersive multi-sensory experience that can induce emotional response in participatory planning. However, standard mode of implementation that relies on mobile phone applications and VR headsets has a disadvantage when it comes to availability and accessibility. Here we test the WebXR solution that can mitigate those problems. We have created six AR and VR environments that resembled common urban planning scenarios and conducted usability tests with people having planning and GIS background. Results indicate that WebXR can provide useful solution in urban planning when the interface and environment resemble common practices and situations encountered in real life. Environments that have introduced new digital affordances like AR measurements or semi-transparent walkable scale models were rated lower. Users evaluated presented environment as having high usability and expressed their positive attitude toward using XR in their professional practice mainly as a participatory and visualization tool.

WebXR in urban planning – a testbed

XR technology is a very promising solution when it comes to displaying 3D spatial data, especially in urban planning. It offers many advantages as a new visualization technique that give its users access to places that are not available in material space and an unique perspective on existing objects, while providing multi-sensory, immersive experience. However, standard mode of implementation that rely on mobile phone applications and VR headsets have a disadvantage when it comes to availability and accessibility. In his recently defended Master thesis Mateusz Orylski have tested WebXR solution that can mitigate those problems and provide an inclusive solution for participatory planning.

We have created six AR and VR environments that resembled common urban planning scenarios and conducted usability tests with people having planning and GIS background. We have gathered interesting feedback and we are currently preparing a paper discussing this. In the meantime you can take a look at Mateusz’s work here:

Screenshot of one of the VR environments.

New paper on VR in COVID-19 pandemic

We have published a new paper: Rzeszewski M. Evans. L: Virtual place during quarantine – a curious case of VRChat

Abstract below and You can access full text here:

Abstract: During the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic many governments imposed forced lockdowns and implemented social distancing measures. At the same time there was also a large increase in gaming sales, which was particularly pronounced in the Virtual Reality (VR) sector of the market. We hypothesize that this is no coincidence since VR immersion and the capability of inducing embodiment and a feeling of presence can mitigate the loss of contact with outside world. VR has social and spatial potential to provide space and place for human interactions in time when physical contracts are restricted. To investigate this, we analyse reviews of VRChat (a social VR game) posted on the Steam platform, both before and during the pandemic. Among several themes that were identified, we found indications that spatiality plays an important role in the players’ experience. Users describe virtual worlds of the game using emotional language that suggest bonding and presence of place attachment. In the reviews made during the pandemic there is a strong theme of safety associated with virtual places of VRChat – a replacement of physical space that is no longer accessible or is perceived as unsafe. At least for some users, VRChat has provided a sympathetic and comfortable environment during the pandemic to act as a surrogate for social interaction during social distancing and isolation. Future interviews with users are needed to extend and validate this preliminary research.

Looking for VRChat users / Szukamy użytkowników VRChat

We are currently looking for VRChat users that are willing to give us short interviews (30-40 min). We are interested in both seasoned VRChat veterans and people that are fairly new to the game. Online ‘Face to face’ or ‘avatar to avatar’ interviews will be anonymous and related only to VRChat experience. If you want to share with us your thoughts on VR social games and VR in general please contact us! As a a reward for your time you will receive Steam gift card (150 PLN or equivalent in your currency).

Poszukujemy graczy i graczek VRChat chcących opowiedzieć nam o swoich przygodach w VR podczas krótkiego wywiadu (30-40 min). Interesują nas zarówno doświadczeni weterani VRChat, jak i osoby o krótkim doświadczeniu. Wywiady online „twarzą w twarz” lub „awatara z awatarem” będą anonimowe i związane tylko z doświadczeniem VRChat. Jeśli chcesz podzielić się z nami swoimi przemyśleniami na temat gier społecznościowych VR i ogólnie VR, skontaktuj się z nami! W nagrodę za poświęcony czas otrzymasz kartę podarunkową Steam (150 zł lub równowartość w Twojej walucie).

If you are interested write to:

Jeśli jesteś zainteresowana/zainteresowany napisz do nas:

Survey on XR technology

We are starting a survey,  in which we are asking questions on issues related to XR technology, their use, or potential future use in urban environments. Examples of XR technologies include augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies.

If you have any experience with XR or if you are just curious – help us and take our survey!

This survey is anonymous and you will not be asked to disclose any personal information unless you want to participate in our raffle for participants in which case we will need your email for the purpose of the winners. If you do this you will a chance of winning Steam gift card (40 PLN or equivalent in your currency). We will give out 1 gift card per 10 participants. You can read more about the survey here.

The survey can be found under the following link:

XR survey

Poszukiwana pomoc – help wanted

We’ve received additional funding for COVID-19 related research and we are looking for students from UAM Poznań that want to take active part in our study. Since we are aiming for a specific group the rest of this post is in Polish (but if you are from abroad and residing in Poznan you can still contact us for this!)

Poszukujemy studentki lub studenta UAM z Poznania chcącego wziąć udział w naszym dodatkowym projekcie, związanym z Wirtualną Rzeczywistością (VR) i COVID-19. Chcemy zbadać potencjał mediów społecznościowych jako bezpiecznej przestrzeni społecznej – na przykładzie VRChat. Nie jest wymagana wcześniejsza znajomość VR.

Co zapewniamy:

  • Dostęp do sprzętu VR (Oculus Quest)
  • Uczestnictwo w projekcie naukowym na partnerskich zasadach – z możliwością współautorstwa publikacji i wpływem na kształt badań
  • Nauka warsztatu naukowego oraz technologii VT
  • Avatar wykonany na zamówienie
  • Możliwość korzystania z oprogramowania i sprzętu również dla własnych celów (w ograniczonym zakresie)

Czego oczekujemy:

  • Umiejętności związanych z mediami społecznościowymi – nawiązywanie nowych kontaktów, znajomość żargonu etc.
  • Znajomości języka angielskiego
  • Otwartości na nowe technologie
  • Ciekawości świata i chęci pracy przy projekcie naukowym

Zadaniem osoby, która podejmie się współpracy z nami będzie dość intensywne granie w VRChat wraz z zapisywaniem swoich spostrzeżeń (auto-etnografia) oraz nawiązywanie kontaktów z innymi graczami i zapraszanie ich na wywiady lub też prowadzenie wywiadów (kwestionariuszy).

Kontakt z nami: lub


Mateusz – a new project member

We are happy to introduce Matesz Orylski – a new member of our team. Mateusz has been already cooperating with us for a couple of weeks but since he recently got funding from Adam Mickiewicz University (congratulations!) for his Master project this is as good opportunity as any.

Matesz has an engineering degree in Geoinformation- for his thesis he created a navigation app for Pokemon Go players that used hybrid reality approach and delivered a useful service for players. His current interests – that intersect with this project are focused on WebXR technology and its uses in spatial planning. He already created some preliminary web tools using OSM data and Three JS (see screenshot below). Funding he received will be used for creating, testing and implementing prototype of web application that can be used in spatial planning.

We are looking forward to collaborating with Matusz – welcome aboard!

Call for papers – Digital geographies in the time of pandemic


Call for papers for Regional Development And Regional Policy ( – 3rd quarter of 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is an undeniable tragedy for many people and a global drama taking place on many levels and on many geographical scales. For the academic world, it is also a period of surprising changes and challenges – in the areas of privacy, mobility, teaching and research. The daily negotiations of new spatial conditions of life is a struggle that absorbs large amounts of time and effort for many of us. At the same time however, I see in this situation the opportunity to look at it as a time of reflection and new possibilities of observing socio-spatial phenomena – also those previously unknown or hidden and now exposed or created by and through digital technologies. This call for papers aims to explore this possibility and invite you to think critically about one of the phenomena visibibly highlighted by social distance procedures – the ubiquity of digital platforms and technologies and their digital geographies.

Digital technologies entered the everyday world on an unprecedented scale during the pandemic, becoming an integral part of the daily life of many people – often in an forceful and uninvited manner. We now experience directly what Bernard Stiegler calls a pharmakon – a technology that is both a remedy for the current situation and a poison that brings new social challenges. But it can be seen as a unique opportunity to reflect on the way digital technologies shape, represent, create and mediate spaces and places. It is also an opportunity to take a new look at the digital geography of mobility and spatial behavior, work and leisure, countries and regions, social relations and class divisions, gender and race – and more. Finally, this could be a time to rethink the place of digital geography in social sciences – not in the context of the new subdiscipline, but in the spirit of the necessary presence of digital research problems in a broadly understood spatially oriented research (Ash et al., 2018).

Therefore I invite you all to send texts to a special issue of our journal. The range of themes include, but is not limited to:

  • space and place in a digitally mediated world
  • digital placemaking
  • locational data and society control mechanisms
  • digital economics and digital work in the world of isolation
  • issues of location privacy and freedom of movement
  • ethics of conducting digital research during social distancing
  • maps – cartographic representations of the global crisis
  • digital division and exclusion
  • smart cities – a technological mitigation of the pandemic

Due to the special nature of this issue, please send first a short pitch (just a short description) about your proposed paper to After making sure it will fit the overall theme I will ask you to send the full text. I hope that this slightly different than usual form will allow us to create a coherent and intellectually stimulating collection of texts.

Deadlines and schedule:
by 24th May – sending initial declarations and acceptance
by 15th August – full texts
by 15th September – reviews
by 30th September– corrected texts

More about the journal:

Editorial info:

  1. guidel lines for authors:
  2. editorial questions should be directed to the Editorial Secretar – mgr Rafal Lemański
  3. we can accept texts in English and also in Polish!

Contact info:
Please send all questions and comments, as well as the initial declarations to my email

Michal Rzeszewski
Critical Geography Laboratory
Digital Geography and Geographic Information Systems Laboratory
Faculty of Human Geography and Planning , Adam Mickiewicz University