Mapping the Republic of Letters

This is not a new project, but in case you have missed it (like us) when it was released a couple of years ago, you may want to take a look at it. The Mapping the Republic of Letters project developed at Stanford presents an interactive mapping application offering different ways of visualizing the relationships between the origins and destinations of thousands of letters mailed throughout Europe during the early modern period (1500-1800). This on-going interdisciplinary project definitely reflects the humanist culture that characterized the early modern period it represents. It could definitely be a stimulating source of inspiration for anybody interested in mapping (social) networks.

Alexander Chen Musical Metro Map

Quite an impressive combination of art, carto, sound, design and technology! In his Conductor project (www.mta.me), Alexander Chen

“turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram.” (see http://blog.chenalexander.com/2011/conductor-mta/ for a full description of this fascinating map).

Thanks to Daniel Naud for pointing me to Chris McDowall’s blog which includes many interesting animated map including this one (Note: this map was already mentioned a few weeks ago on (e)space&fiction).

Mapping Processes and Practices (Workshop – July 2nd, 2011 – Paris)

In their article Rethinking Maps, Rob Kitchin and Martin Dodge (2007, 331) argue that cartography should be envisioned as “a processual, rather than representational, science.” This process-oriented perspective challenges conventions in cartography, but also reflects more common mapping practices in other disciplines. In the arts and humanities the term mapping is used more broadly and includes a diversity of practices and expectations. Artists and other creative practitioners have developed their own mapping practices to express understandings, fears, hopes, emotions and perceptions about places and people. Approaching mapping as a process and set of practices raises a range of issues:

  • How do mapping processes and practices vary across disciplines?
  • What are the consequences of deploying different ways of mapping to portray the world?
  • What politics are facilitated by mapping practice?
  • What ethical possibilities flow from a processual approach to mapping?
  • How might aesthetics and function respond to change?
  • What roles do technologies play in mapping practice?
  • How is meaning constituted through mapping action?
  • What is the affect and emotional consequence of an ontogenic approach to mapping?
  • What are the relations of embodied actions to mapping?
  • What are the social consequences of mapping practice?

To address these questions the Commission on Maps and Society of the International Cartographic Association (ICA), in collaboration with the Working Group on Arts and Cartography of the ICA, are organizing a one day workshop in Paris (just before the 25th International Cartographic Conference). This workshop aims to bring together researchers, students, practitioners and artists interested in the processes and practices through which they make, enact and study mapping.

Given the topic of this workshop we are seeking reports on work in progress, rather than finished papers and invite abstracts around any of the above questions.

Important deadlines

Feb. 21, 2011. Abstracts (about 400 words) to Chris Perkins (chris.perkins@manchester.ac.uk) and Sébastien Caquard (scaquard@alcor.concordia.ca)

Mar. 1,  2011. Proposals selected

Mar. 7, 2011. Preliminary program is published

Moving map Symposium (Lausanne, Apr. 14-15, 2011)

Eidolon is a research network dedicated “to contribute to innovation in cartography either directly or by stimulating research.” This group is organizing a moving map symposium in Lausanne, Suisse (Apr. 14-15, 2011) with a very impressive program including speakers such as Bruno Latour, Emanuela Casti, Jacques Lévy, Franco Farinelli, Michel Lussault and many others. This symposium will be organized around three workshops (Who’s the Author of these Maps ? Mapping Values and Social Justice. Ethics Despite Aesthetics ?) and will also include an art exhibit and a map contest.


Stories in Reserve

Stories in Reserve is a project that involve a group of artists exploring – and mapping – places with a dual point of view: from the insiders perspectives and from the outsiders one (e.g. tourists). The first volume includes three audio tours: transnational commerce in Tijuana (by Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga);  Superfund-classified wildlife refugees in southern Illinois ( by Sarah Kanouse); and Vancouver’s site of the 2010 Winter Olympic games (by Ryan Griffis, Lize Mogel & Sarah Ross). These tours are presented with full-color maps and images. The books can be ordered for $15 + the cost of shipping. The great news is that the book and the audio tours are also downloadable for free

Understanding Different Geographies (Workshop)

Following the successful workshop on Mapping Different Geography that took place in 2009, the University of Vienna is organizing another exciting workshop entitled understanding different geographies – Communicating Meaning with Geo[Graphic] Artifacts that will take place at Puchberg am Schneeberg, Austria from January 31st till February 3rd. The outcome of the 2009 workshop is an edited book that has been freshly released.

International Cartographic Conference – Paris 2011

The next International Cartographic Conference will be held in Paris in 2011 (July 3 to 8). The deadline for submitting proposal is approaching very fast: 4 October 2010. If you cannot submit a full refereed paper before this deadline, there is still the possibility to submit an abstract (400 to 550 words) for oral presentation or a poster. There will be a theme on Art, Culture and Cartography (T5), so you might want to consider  submitting your paper under this theme (See the call for papers for more details).

Beside paper sessions, the Arts and Cartography working group will be organizing different activities. A workshop in collaboration with the worksing group on Maps and Society will take place prior to the conference (this workshop may also include an art exhibit). An experimental walking tour with mixed groups of cartographers and Parisian artists will be organized to explore the invisible borders between the arrondissements of Paris (July 4 at 5 pm). We are also in the process of organizing a film screening, and another art and map exhibit has already been organized. Hope to see you in Paris next year.