Deep Maps and Spatial Narratives

Deep Maps and Spatial Narratives

Deep Maps and Spatial Narratives

Deep Maps and Spatial Narratives

Synopsis

Deep maps are finely detailed, multimedia depictions of a place and the people, buildings, objects, flora, and fauna that exist within it and which are inseparable from the activities of everyday life. These depictions may encompass the beliefs, desires, hopes, and fears of residents and help show what ties one place to another. A deep map is a way to engage evidence within its spatio-temporal context and to provide a platform for a spatially-embedded argument. The essays in this book investigate deep mapping and the spatial narratives that stem from it. The authors come from a variety of disciplines: history, religious studies, geography and geographic information science, and computer science. Each applies the concepts of space, time, and place to problems central to an understanding of society and culture, employing deep maps to reveal the confluence of actions and evidence and to trace paths of intellectual exploration by making use of a new creative space that is visual, structurally open, multi-media, and multi-layered.

Excerpt

David J. Bodenhamer

Over the past two decades, the humanities and social sciences especially have advanced a more complex and nuanced understanding of space. For nongeographers, this intellectual movement, often labeled the “spatial turn,” has been largely defined by a greater awareness of place, manifested in specific sites where human action occurs. Subject matter once organized largely by periods of time, with names such as the Great Depression or the Age of Discovery, now embraces themes of region, diaspora, contact zones, and borders or boundaries. Interest in the material and cultural markers of space and place has reinforced this shift. As a result, our sense of space and place has become more complex and problematic, but in the process it has assumed a more interesting and active role in how we understand history and culture.

It is not the first time that attention to space and time has reshaped the way we approach social and cultural questions. a similar turn occurred from 1880 to 1920 when distance-collapsing innovations—the telephone, wireless telegraph, radio, cinema, automobiles, and airplanes, among others—challenged traditional understandings of how time and space intersected with the social world. It suddenly was possible to know events as they happened, and this experience of simultaneity refashioned people’s sense of distance and direction. It also meant that individuals were no longer cut off from the flow of time; widely available film and photographic images made the past as accessible as the present, while new developments in science and the World Fairs that showcased them . . .

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