With the massive adoption of smartphone, location trackers, and GPS-based applications, data is being generated that captures people's geographic locations in more precise detail than ever before. These personal location history data archives offer a potentially valuable and overlooked resource for supporting reminiscence on past life experiences. Yet, little design research has explored how location histories can be applied as a material in designing such experiences. I describe the Research through Design process of two novel design artifacts: Memory Tracer is a device that occasionally, yet perpetually surfaces location moments from the past bound to today's date. Memory Compass is a smartwatch application that uses a 'casting' interaction metaphor that enables a user to retrieve and explore location moments from their past, across space and time. I unpack and reflect on key decisions in my design process and conclude with opportunities for future HCI research and practice.
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Thesis advisor: Odom, William
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