9A What is a Map Nowadays, Anyway? (7 November)
In class today we will review the material that you all added to our NodeGoat exploration about Egyptian Cinema. I will teach you how to associate geospatial information to places, something which NodeGoat does automatically for you (based on the GeoNames gazetteer).
Reading before class: Presner/Shepard (NCDH), 201-212 “Mapping the Geospatial Turn;” Kretzschmar “GIS for Language and Literary Study; Presner et al* “Introduction” to Hypercities, Guldi, “The Spatial Turn”, dh101 8A
Before class: Maps are around us everywhere. (1) Notice some places in your daily web usage that a web map occurs. What do the maps show? Where do you think that the data come from? (2) Look up a geographic place or famous monument in Wikipedia—can you find where those pages have been associated with geodata? Are those geodata equally distributed across the different languages of Wikipedia? (3) In preparation for class, think of a phenomenon that is of interest to you with a multi-locational aspect to it (Eurovision, World Cup, etc) and make a structured table of the cities and countries in which it has taken place over the years.
In-class exercise: We will do a very brief exercise in class using Google Fusion Tables and BatchGeo making a map from a list of names. What are the limitations of automated mapping? Where are the geodata then stored? Can you share the maps? Re-purpose them?
Check out a few of these projects before class and take some notes on them for discussion:
Mapping Dante / Mapping the Lake District: A Literary GIS / LOTR / Ieldran / Slave Revolt in Jamaica / Mapping Beirut Print Culture / Stories of the Susquehanna / Map of Early Modern London / Visualizing Medieval Places / Peripleo / BL.UK Georeferencer / Life of Maya Angelou / NYC Space/Time / HistoryPin / Mapping Jerusalem / Mapping Gothic France / Beirut Bus Map Project / London Chatty Map / Mapping Architecture in Germany / HGIS de la Indias / Year of the Riot, Harlem 1935 / Geography of the Post / Panorama / Z-axis mapping / Going to the Show / Voyages (Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database) – animation feature / Novel City Maps /
Each of these projects has a very different concept of spatiality and spatial representation. Can you summarize how the projects you chose use maps? How might we best explain the difference between data mapping and cartography? What do they mean by “bundles of digital information about places (BBC4 podcast, 5:20)? What is being represented in the maps? Is the data model described? If not, can you infer it from viewing the maps? What kinds of metadata are accessible? How have the data been collected? How has the geotagging been done? How is time dealt with? How does the map account for user experience?
There is not a lot of digital humanities mapping of the Middle East underway. What kinds of cultural and historical mapping might we imagine spearheading?
Blog post #5: What did you learn from the NodeGoat exercise about modeling a set of relationships in a network (finish this after class on Monday 9 Nov)?
9B Discussion of our participatory mapping project. (9 November)
Reading before class: Warf* “Deep Mapping and Neogeography;” Gordon/De Souza e Silva “Maps” from Net Locality: Why Location Matters in a Networked World.
In-class discussion of our class spatial data curation. How is it different from the textual corpus you built earlier in the semester? If you did not have a device automatically capturing geodata, how would you curate a humanities spatial dataset? (Hint: see the project notes of the Art and Politics in the City project). How can we apply the idea of “net locality” to a digital humanities project?
10A Exploring Web Mapping and Data Formats (21 November)
In class exercise: Download the data from one of the datasets provided: including but not limited to Exploring Place in the French of Italy, Mapping the Lakes Interactive Maps, Literary Geographies of Christine de Pizan, gothic cathedral locations from Mapping Gothic France, or our class project (ask for the datashare). We will visualize them in Carto and for comparison for topographic depth in Google Earth.
What different spatial data formats did you find? What kinds of visualizations result from such map tools? How do different basemaps or 3d help us see something different? What kinds of data relationships are possible to visualize using the visual semantics (color, color ramps, shape)? How should we treat maps as objects of knowledge? What kinds of plug-ins or private accounts are required to do web mapping? What is the difference between Explorer? Chrome? Firefox? Why don’t all visualizations function in all browsers? What are the implications of map data being hosted in the cloud or in open environments?
10B GIS Day 2016 (23 November)
Every year, the major company for Geographic Information Systems in the world, ESRI, hosts a GIS day. We are going to look at the Soviet maps of the UAE from the late 1970s found in the NYU spatial data repository in collaboration with NYU Data Services in New York and Shanghai. We will discuss the idea of a spatial data infrastructure and its importance for doing research in the spatial humanities. We will look at the process of geo-referencing maps, along the lines of what we saw in the British Library Georeferencer site explored in class. You will try your hand at the process for a portion of the UAE maps. The goal of GIS Day is twofold (1) to explore historical change of land and built space and (2) to think about how map and spatial content makers choose what features are most relevant to them.
Blog post #6: What did you learn from the GIS Day 2016 exercise about thinking about space and the way that space is modeled in map making? Feel free to bring in the other experiences we had with mapping with Carto and/or Fulcrum.