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Humanities 2015, 4(3), 304-318;

Mapping Deeply

Independent Scholar, 3205 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA
Academic Editor: Les Roberts
Received: 5 June 2015 / Revised: 28 July 2015 / Accepted: 30 July 2015 / Published: 6 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deep Mapping)
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This is a description of an avant la lettre deep mapping project carried out by a geographer and a number of landscape architecture students in the early 1980s. Although humanists seem to take the “mapping” in deep mapping more metaphorically than cartographically, in this neighborhood mapping project, the mapmaking was taken literally, with the goal of producing an atlas of the neighborhood. In this, the neighborhood was construed as a transformer, turning the stuff of the world (gas, water, electricity) into the stuff of individual lives (sidewalk graffiti, wind chimes, barking dogs), and vice versa. Maps in the central transformer section of the atlas were to have charted this process in action, as in one showing the route of an individual newspaper into the neighborhood, then through the neighborhood to a home, and finally, as trash, out of the neighborhood in a garbage truck; though few of these had been completed when the project concluded in 1986. Resurrected in 1998 in an episode on Ira Glass’ This American Life, the atlas was finally published, as Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas, in 2010 (and an expanded edition in 2013). View Full-Text
Keywords: maps; mapping; atlas; neighborhood; transformer; landscape architects; geographer maps; mapping; atlas; neighborhood; transformer; landscape architects; geographer

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Wood, D. Mapping Deeply. Humanities 2015, 4, 304-318.

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