Month: May 2008

Vertiginous Mapping by Rosa Barba

Vertiginous Mapping by Rosa BarbaVertiginous mapping provides a stimulating journey in space and time to the mine city of Alkuna of Forgotten somewhere in the North. Artists Rosa Barba uses an interactive – almost real – collage map to navigate through her – almost real – imaginary world. We never really know where we are, when it takes place, what we see, and what we hear, but we really enjoy the experience.

For Vertiginous Mapping, her first web-based project, Rosa Barba draws upon a collection of film, images, texts, and audio that she compiled and created while on a residency in Sweden in the Spring of 2008, weaving together facts and footage with fabricated elements to invite the viewer on a pleasantly perplexing journey. North of the Arctic circle, Barba shot 16mm film in a city that must be relocated due to ground instability caused by massive mining in the area. A large crack in the ground (seen in a film of a computer simulation as a red line dividing the city) will overtake the community in 15 years if the current rate of mining continues. The actual city, renamed by Barba to Alkuna (“Nordic mythology”), was built in the 1950s as a highly-planned, climate-adapted, model community, where building was successfully coordinated with terrain in order to mitigate the cold winds. (

Thanks to Nils Plath forn pointing us to this great project.


A WikiMap for Indigenous Artists

The Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (GCRC) from Carleton University has just released its new ‘Living’ Cybercartographic Atlas of Indigenous Perspectives and Knowledge in the Great Lakes Area (Canada). This online atlas is made of different sections (modules), including a wikimap on which contemporary indigenous artists can post their work (e.g. photos, images, audio or video files). Currently only few art work has been posted, but hopefully this wikimap will soon become densely populated.

To access the wikimap you will need either FIREFOX or SAFARI

Do-It-Yourself Smell Map

Smell Map by Jenny Marketou

Smell is slowly making its way to cartography, as illustrated by this installation by artists Jenny Marketou at the Esther M. Klein Art Gallery in Philadelphia (PA, USA):

“Smell It: A Do-It-Yourself Smell Map is an interactive visitor project created specifically for this exhibition. Visitors will be given a street map and then invited to walk around the neighborhood to record their olfactory experiences. Back in the gallery, viewers can add their odorous encounters to a wall-sized, collectively-drawn map to show the diversity of subjective responses to smell and the shifting of the neighborhood’s smellscape from one day to the next.

While smells are expected in the context of nature or in rural areas, to discover the olfactory in the midst of the concrete jungle is both a challenge and a thrill.”

Thanks to Tracey Lauriault (who has been doing a lot of work on smell and cartography) for sharing this info.