Sherelog is a system that fetches data from Suica (an RFID train pass) and visualizes personal train-ride records on a large public map (or Google Map). Koutaro Hashimoto, Yasuhiro Suzuki, Toshio Iwai, Michitaka Hirose showed this system at the Japan Media Arts Festival earlier this month.
[Sherelog. via Japan Media Arts Festival blog]
Suica is a popular RFID train pass in Japan. JR East has issued more than 10 million of these RFID train passes by the end of January this year. Suica uses a read/write RFID chip that can store small amount of train-ride records. Researchers at JR East told that they chose the read/write technology because it helps reduce the communication traffic between ticket gates and a “main computer.”
It may be some kind of a side effect that people can access and use the train-ride records stored in Suica. So, something JR East may not have imagined was created by the team of researchers/artists. There are software tools for Suica, such as SF Card Viewer (this one’s for end-users) and SF Card Peeper (this one’s for geeks). Sharelog uses SF Card Peeper.
The developers intentions seem to be (1) to support people to remember their personal travel histories and reflect upon them and (2) to create unique opportunities for communications by making it extremely easy to share personal travel histories.
There is an online version of Sherelog that shows anonymous travel histories using Google Map. (try, for example, putting “1” and “10” in the two text fields and then push the button).