Locating Absence with Narrative Digital Maps
Molloy College, United States of America
This paper outlines an interdisciplinary undergraduate digital humanities course, study abroad trip to Rome, Italy, and consultation with representatives from the non-profit organization Shoot 4 Change (http://www.shoot4change.eu/) focused on teaching students to visualize space critically. Utilizing the Spatial Humanities Kit (http://spatialhumanitieskit.org), deployed via both Molloy College and Hofstra University, we showcase narrative geospatial humanities work, media production, and a simple mix of HTML and GeoJSON as vehicles for our students’ critical analysis.
Our maps prioritize student experience, encapsulated in still images, written description, VR video, and vlogs embedded within them. Our course prioritizes methods for researching and unearthing embattled histories of public space, particularly within architecture, monuments, and urban design. Combined, our maps and critical framework result in a practice of teaching students to visualize cultural conflict that prefigures their experience of the space they inhabit--what is formative of, but currently absent or obscured from, the landscape they engage with.
Using Visualization to Understand the Complex Spatiality of Mappae Mundi
1Leipzig University, Germany; 2New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
A common practice in spatial humanities is georeferencing historical maps to generate rasters for use in Geographic Information Systems. Algorithmic analysis of this process can help identify geometric inaccuracies of “old” maps and visualizing those allows one to analyze historical cartographic technique. In this paper we turn instead to very old maps--examples of so-called “complex” medieval maps that blend conventional T-O structure with pseudo-geographic detail. Georeferencing them can lead to problems of occultation, or said another way, to hidden “folds” in the distorted map. The aim of this paper is to employ those extreme distortions in order to understand better their pre-modern organizational structure through the use of visualization. In our research we have found that such a practice allows us to situate such maps on a spectrum between the more topological and the more symbolic.
Maps Re-imagined: Digital, Informational, and Perceptional Experimentations in Progress
1Academia Sinica, Taiwan; 2National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
A map can be thought as the fixture of certain places in a time to an artifact of indefinite longevity. The fixture was completed at the moment when the artifact had been produced. The places depicted on the map, however, can always be re-interpreted. We are interested in technical arrangements about historical maps upon which new possibilities can be experimented. We report on our experience in re-basing and rendering of early 20th Century land survey maps upon the OpenStreetMap technical infrastructure. Successive layers of digitalization and transformation are performed so as to bring out new representations from the old maps. Populated places, road networks, administrative centers and boundaries, water systems and diverse landscaping areas -- surveyed and mapped long ago on paper -- become digital objects waiting to be examined and navigated online. These places, connecting us to the past as well as to the present, can now be perceived anew.