Can Mapmakers Change the World?

We’re getting an overview of mapmaking and how its useful – the Mark Monmonier discusses weather sites. Then he gets into political remapping- the impact here is quite large.

Jeremy Crampton talks about “transformation” as a motiviation for blogging. Personal transformation (self discovery, Focault’s technology of the self). Second is sociopolitical transformation, or changing people’s thinking. This gathering is taking place at same time as Yearly Kos (daily Kos con). Kos wrote a book about trying to get around the traditional political approach.

He’s talking about map mashups as a transformative tool, particularly as a political one. Shows us a map of pennysylvania showing the voting records from the last presidential election, showing turnout + who voted- referring to the Atlas of US presidential elections.

Martin Dodge discusses how the internet graphs aren’t really a map but an algorithm perspective of nodes. He’s interested in bringing these points back onto the map and further looking at how the place that internet conversations are occuring is relevant.

Alexander Halavais starts with “If you fly on JetBlue, gradually you will come to believe that Chicago doesn’t exist”. Satellite photo of the conference location is nice but useless b/c it doesn’t show you where you can go. Information maps help show us where we could go in society.

How often do links cross world boundaries. Shows us a map of the US that show where they link. Turns out that all links lead to NYC. He says that listening to people have dinner conversations.
Mary Hodder starts in with this rocking video that says “we are the media” that really pumps out on the speakers in this room until some soul turns it down to mellowness; it ends with a link to josh leo’s blog.

Shows off this click-tracking website that lets you see everything some person has clicked on and see click trends and that sort of thing.

Stefaan Verhurlst talks a bit about famous Belgian map makers (eg Mercator) then gives a nice little graphic on mapmakers as change agents. He says they’re codifying and mediating existence by framing the perception of reality and also by guiding and navigating people.

Shows the european history of maps … I’d like to see the knot maps of polynesians and incans, but it looks like that’s off the board.

He argues that we now have the paradigm of interdependence(?!) because of … something about internet maps, I didn’t quite catch it.

Three unresolved issues: Identity, location, and policy(?). Policy/mediators are important. Dual use of technology- good and bad he says.

I asked about mapping non-earth info into some sort of sensible form; response was “no good way to do that yet” and “we’re trying to figure out how to take thousands of dimensions and mapping them to two, and there’s a lot of information loss”

Hodder makes the point that links need to be able to indicate more information – a lot of subtleties are lost in the simple links. It’s nice to finally hear something about how links might evolve at this hyperlinked conference.

A gent is asking a question wherein he bags my “ball of string” metaphor and says they can be useful because “maps display information”… but it seems to me like the line graph map we’ve seen so far has been a bundle of lines… and the whole problem is I don’t get what it’s supposed to be telling me.

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