November 7: Multimodality, Multivocality + Deep Mapping

Richard McGuire, Here

Map Critiques: Ella, Alie, Isabella

Koolhaas/OMA, Singapore Songlines, via Singapore Planning and Urban Research


Ian Biggs, “Deep Mapping as an ‘Essaying’ of Place,” Presented at “Writing” Seminar, Bartlett School of Architecture; reprinted on IanBiggs [blog post] (July 9, 2010); Brett Bloom and Nuno Sacramento, Deep Mapping (Auburn, IN: Breakdown Break Down Press, 2017); David J. Bodenhamer, John Corrigan, and Trevor M. Harris, eds., Deep Maps and Spatial Narratives (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2015); Martin Dodge, “Cartography I: Mapping Deeply, Mapping the Past,” Progress in Human Geography 41:1 (2017): 1-10; Maureen Engel, “Deep Mapping” in Jentery Sayers, ed., Routledge Companion to New Media and the Digital Humanities (New York: Routledge, 2018); Adam Frampton, Jonathan D. Solomon & Clara Wong, Cities Without Ground: A Hong Kong Guidebook (ORO Editions, 2012); Trevor M. Harris, “From PGIS to Participatory Deep Mapping in Spatial Storytelling: An Evolving Trajectory in Community Knowledge Representation in GIS,” The Cartographic Journal 53 (2016); Todd Presner, David Shepard & Yoh Kawano, HyperCites: Thick Mapping in the Digital Humanities (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press / metaLab Projects, 2014); Martino Stierli, Las Vegas in the Rearview Mirror: The City in Theory, Photography, and Film (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, [2010] 2013): 109-190 [on photographic and filmic mapping in the VSB Yale Studio]; “Urban Intermedia: City, Archive, Narrative,” Harvard Graduate School of Design, September 7, 2018.

6 Replies

  • What I find interesting about deep maps is their subversive potential, both in disciplinary and political terms. While they have a multidimensional character that allows you to look at different temporal and spatial layers, they are NOT intended to be seen as an all encompassing, static, representational map in conventional ways. Even more interesting to me was to think of deep maps as — like Roberts puts it — “performative” (p.02) in the sense that they come to life through the “un-layering” effort of the mapper/artist, but also through the experience of those who “read” it. So it seems to me that the value of deep maps rests in their ability to access the intersection between spatial, temporal, and embodied experiences. Like psychogeographic experiments, deep maps recount the socially constructed character of a given space. They allow us not only to get a glimpse of how other spatial and temporal experiences “bleed into and through the map” (Roberts, p.02), but to reflect critically about the way spaces come into being, what they hide or reveal about the way we experience space today.

  • In Les Roberts paper, deep mapping accrues more layers in the process which evokes the missing dialogue of traditional maps. Framing it as a map becomes the problem and I wonder how technology has influenced the two binarys of cartography that is as an art and a science. As witht the many advancements of different softwares and platforms, these pragmatic tools can be used poetically to help share spatial narratives. Deep mapping has also made me think about Google Maps and their continous efforts to map every detai of citiesl in the world. With competition from Apple maps, I wonder how more detailed and what more information can be added to these mapping platforms?

    • Thanks, Maha. You’re asking some provocative questions. I wonder if we can compare the *exhaustive*, “completist” compulsion to “map everything in the world” — i.e., an abundance of data — with the values informing deep maps, which are *not* meant to be exhaustive or authoritative. Can we still use Google Maps, Carto, QGIS, etc., to embody the values of “deepness”?

  • I do have some questions, though. I wonder if deep maps could be a way not only to promote a critical debate, but also to propose interventions and redefine urban spatial configurations. Can deep maps be used as practical tools for urban planning itself, or would it undermine their purpose of being and open, multi sensorial, reflexive practice not limited by utilitarian goals?

    • An excellent question — which might say as much about our conventional approaches to planning as it does about deep maps 🙂 Do “open, multi-sensorial, and reflexive” methods have a place in urban planning, landscape architecture, historic preservation, etc.? We’ll look at some examples in class today that show the principles of deep mapping applied to spatial practice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *