Mapping Ephemeralities


Workshop organized by the International Cartographic Association (ICA) Commissions on Maps and Society & Art and Cartography

 Evanescent elements such as memories, stories, sensations and perceptions are just as much a part of places as more physical and tangible objects such as streets, buildings, landmarks, and topography. These evanescent elements contribute to our personal and collective relationships to places but as ephemeralities, they are difficult to identify, collect and map. Cartographers have begun to acknowledge the importance of such non-material elements in the mapping of places, though often it is through artistic practices that ephemeral mappings have been explored. Meanwhile, the idea of “locative” media serves to connect location with site-specific art or narrative that in turn helps one be more aware of the multiple dimensions of the immediate environment. With growing interest in ephemeral mapping and locative media comes the need for research and dialogue about some of the issues raised by both the collection of ephemeralities and their appropriate mapping. The goal of this workshop is to provide an intellectual and creative space to share different ideas and methodologies about mapping ephemeralities, as well as a practical environment to learn how some of these methodologies and technologies can be used and adapted for designing (online) maps of ephemeral phenomenon.

This workshop aims to bring together artists, scholars and students from cartography, geography, the humanities and the arts who are interested in exploring further the relationships between maps and ephemeral dimensions of places. We would like to invite participants interested in discussing and debating any type of relationship between maps and ephemeralities including:

  • The theoretical underpinning of mapping ephemeralities;
  • The methodologies developed in arts, sciences and the humanities for collecting ephemeral and non-material phenomenon associated with places (e.g. memories, perceptions, smells, sounds, emotions);
  • The technological and practical aspects of mapping ephemeralities;
  • The social and political implications of mapping ephemeral phenomenon and designing ephemeral maps;

The workshop will be hosted by the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro located in Maracanã neighborhood. We also hope to involve the participants into some ephemeralities data collection activities and to use these data to design an online collectively-made evanescent map of the ephemeralities of the Maracana neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro.

Submission process and important dates

To participate to the workshop, each participant must submit a proposal describing her/his project by December 15th, 2014 (max. 500 words) to Chris Perkins (, Laurene Vaughan ( and Sébastien Caquard ( who will share them with the other members of the scientific committee: Jörn Seemann and Taien Ng-Chan. The workshop will be free of charge, but the participants will have to pay for their food and lodging (a list will be provided on the 27th International Cartographic Conference website:


  • November 10, 2014 – Call for Participants;
  • December 15, 2014 – Deadline for submitting abstracts (max. 500 words);
  • January 31, 2015 – Successful Applicants notified;
  • March 31, 2015 – Final program released;
  • 21-22 August 2015 – Workshop prior to the ICC 2015.


Note: The deadline to submit a paper to the main International Cartographic Conference is Nov. 15, 2014 (


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