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Digital Geographies Research Group of the RGS-IBG

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 from 10:00 to 16:30 (BST)


Ticket Information

Type Remaining End Quantity
General admission + lunch 37 Tickets Ended Free  


Event Details

As part of the Hestia 2 seminar series, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, exploring the different ways in which humanistic approaches to data visualization are challenging and transforming existing mapping practices, we are pleased to invite people to join us for a one-day workshop that will examine the role of GIS in mapping texts of different kinds.

As Caquard (2013, 135) has noted, there has been considerable interest in ‘the relationship between maps and narratives’, especially in the context of the spatial turn among literary and film scholars.  In many ways this field is being driven by technological innovation, particularly the rise of easy-to-use online mapping tools developed by companies like Google to exploit location-based data; everyone can now map their story.  Nonetheless, the standard critique of GIS is that it replicates a Cartesian, positivist conception of the world through allocating geospatial coordinates to objects.  This brings the temptation to ignore a technology closely associated with domination and control, to see mapping purely as metaphor rather than geospatial ‘grid’.  Geographers, particularly those working in critical and qualitative GIS (e.g. Cope and Elwood 2009) have dissected this critique and highlight the analytical potential of GIS for those interested in qualitative data.  Just what does it mean then, to use geospatial technologies to map people’s stories?

Draft Schedule:


10.00 Registration and Coffee


 10.30 Welcome – Phil Jones (University of Birmingham) & Stefan Bouzarovski (University of Manchester)


 10.35 Introduction to the HESTIA Project – Elton Barker (Open University)


 Session 1 Narrative mapping, space and place


 10.45 Vanesa Castán Broto (UCL) ‘Mapping stories urban energy’


11.05 Nela Milic (Goldsmiths, University of London) ‘Belgrade log – BG:LOG’


11.25 Agnieszka Leszczynski (University of Birmingham) and Sarah Elwood (University of Washington) ‘Telling stories with new spatial media’


 11.45 Questions/discussion


 12.00 Ekaterina Yahyaoui Krivenko (NUI Galway) ‘Challenging the Narrative of International Law through GIS: limits and opportunities’


12.20 Miranda Anderson and James Loxley (University of Edinburgh) ‘Mapping the Factual and the Counterfactual’


 12.40 Questions/discussion


 13.00 Lunch & participatory exercise ‘MapLocal’


 Session 2 Literature, networks and GIS


 14.00 Pietro Liuzzo (University of Heidelberg) and Francesco Mambrini (Deutsches Archäologisches Institut) ‘Storytelling and geographical data in EAGLE’


14.20 Ian Gregory, Chris Donaldson (Lancaster University) and Patricia Murrieta-Flores (University of Chester) ‘Exploring Lake District writing using GIS’


14.40 Akiyoshi Suzuki (Konan Women’s University) ‘A Good Map is Worth a Thousand Words: 3-D Topographic Narrative of Haruki Murakami’


 15.00 Questions/discussion


 15.15 Moacir P. de Sá Pereira (University of Chicago) ‘Robert Jordan's nearest neighbor: A “For Whom the Bell Tolls” GIS’


15.35 Øyvind Eide (University of Passau) ‘Narratives of maps and texts. The role of media differences and stepwise formalisation’


 15.55 Questions/discussion


 16.10 Wrap up


16.30 Close

This event is hosted by the Digital Humanities Hub in the European Research Institute Building, G3 on the University of Birmingham Campus Map.


Caquard, S. 2013: ‘Cartography I: mapping narrative cartography’, Progress in Human Geography 37(1): 135-144,

Cope, M. and Elwood, S. (eds.) 2009: Qualitative GIS: A Mixed Methods Approach. London.

Do you have questions about TELLING STORIES WITH MAPS? Contact Digital Geographies Research Group of the RGS-IBG

When & Where

Digital Humanities Hub, European Research Institute Building, G3 on campus map:

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 from 10:00 to 16:30 (BST)

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