Syllabus Version: 0.1
Number: INTM-SHU 280
Class Hours per Week: 1.25
Credits: 4
Semester: Fall 2016
Documentation Blog:

Instructor: Matthew Belanger

TEE Fellow: Kyle Greenberg


With the rise of mobile computing platforms such as smart phones and tablets, location has suddenly become a key element in the production and consumption of media. In this online course, designed for NYU Shanghai Interactive Media Arts majors studying abroad, students will be encouraged to simultaneously explore their unique study away site, as well as to consume, research, critique, and create location-based media for mobile devices. Students will be introduced to GPS (Global Positioning System) technologies through activities such as geocaching and GPS drawing. We will next investigate geocoding, geotagging, and geofencing through the application of JavaScript mapping platforms CartoDB and Google Maps. Students will then explore an emerging technology known as Bluetooth Beacons, which can be used to create custom positioning systems and to facilitate location awareness in mobile devices. Students will be asked to then produce, as a final project, a game that engages participants in a location or locations, as well as in locative media, which can take the form of photos, audio, video, and / or animation.

Note: This is an online course featuring both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. Registration is limited to IMA Majors studying at NYU’s global sites other than New York or Abu Dhabi.

Classroom Conduct

Classes begin promptly at the scheduled start time. Please arrive early so as not to be late. This class will be highly participatory with lectures being very conversational. You are invited and expected to contribute to in-class discussions.

Recreational use of phones, music payers, video game systems and other portable electronic devices is forbidden. Laptops are allowed for note taking, in class work, as well as relevant research only. Activities not related to the class, such as recreational browsing of the internet, including all social media websites, email and instant messaging, game playing, and work for other classes, will not be permitted. Such activities are disrespectful to the instructor and distracting to others.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this course students will be able to demonstrate basic understanding of:
• locative media and its application
• source control management with GitHub
• JavaScript and related frameworks such as jQuery and p5.js
• JavaScript Mapping APIs such as Google Maps and CartoDB
• Bluetooth Beacon technologies such as iBeacon and Eddystone
• digital and physical location-based games


Grades will be determined based on the following breakdown:
• 20% Attendance and Participation
• 15% Exercises and Reading Responses
• 20% JavaScript Mapping API Project
• 20% Bluetooth Beacon Project
• 25% Location-based Game Project

Meeting Times

• 10:30 AM New York
• 11:30 AM Buenos Aires
• 04:30 PM Berlin & Prague
• 06:30 PM Abu Dhabi
• 10:30 PM Shanghai

Local observation of Daylight Savings Time can affect class times. Not all sites observe Daylight Savings Time on the same dates. Keep track of local time changes as they may affect your schedule as the semester progresses.

We observe the NYU Shanghai academic calendar for holidays in this class. It is your responsibility to makeup any classes missed as a result of local holidays.

Attendance & Participation

Attendance in all class sessions is mandatory. Unexcused absences or lateness will adversely affect your grade. NYU policy does permit members of any religious group to absent themselves from classes without penalty when required for compliance with their religious obligations. If you are going to miss a class, it is your responsibility to make up the material you miss. Please let the instructor know ahead of time so that he/she can help you determine how to make up the material.

Your participation in this class is essential. Not only does it allow the instructor to gauge your interests and get to know you as an individual, but it also allows the instructor to asses your understanding of important concepts. It also provides the instructor with an opportunity to learn from your work. As a result, attendance and participation make up a meaningful percentage of your grade.

An invitation will be sent to you shortly before each class session for a video conference using either Zoom or Skype. Check your email and / or the Slack channel for the invitation.

Mandatory office hour appointments will also be scheduled roughly every two weeks to review your progress in the class. Doodle polls will be sent to schedule appointments. Please respond promptly.


Maintaining communication in an online course is essential. We may communicate through email, Slack, Zoom, Skype, or by other means as necessary. Be sure to respond to messages in a timely manner. Our primary means of communication will be through Slack. Slack works best when you download the app to your computer and / or smartphone and enable notifications.

JavaScript Mapping API Project


Bluetooth Beacon Project


Location-based Game Project



Required readings will be available online or as electronic documents.