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Geography at Harvard: Maps and Mapping

This fall at Harvard, I'll be co-teaching Maps and Mapping with Charles Waldheim (chair of Landscape Architecture at the GSD). A course video has just been produced to promote the course on campus. Geography at Harvard! Course description: Mapping has been considered both an art and a science, as part of artistic, communicative, and analytical processes in the geographical tradition.  This course will serve as an introduction to the concepts, techniques, and histories that enable mapping as an empirical and analytical practice, with particular attention to the digital.  It covers the centrality of the map in everyday life and considers the changing role of the map-maker as society becomes increasingly saturated by digital information technologies.  Of particular interest will be the use of Internet-based mapping tools and location-based services and the relationship of these tools with more traditional digital mapping techniques, such as geographic information systems (GIS) and

Atlas for a Community Mapshop

Community Mapshop 2015 has culminated in a series of outputs and engagements, but most recent among these, is our Atlas for a Community Mapshop . This is a compilation designed by a student in the course,  Renae Mantooth , containing a number of the graphics and maps produced at the mid and final reviews for the studio. Using Denis Wood's Everything Sings  as our inspiration, the class was asked to prepare graphics in grayscale, allowing for their easy reproduction and circulation. You can read the digital text, here (or below, or download ). We explored the following themes: Food Network Education Opportunities Modes of Travel Bus Shelter Inequity Uneven Housing Landscape Wifi Inequity Blue Grass Trust Plaque Program Facade Dichotomy From the text: Drawing on the last twenty-five years of scholarship in critical cartography and critical GIS, this workshop begins from the premise that maps are more than windows on the world. Maps do not only provide a record

Thinking/Making Geographic Representation

[ Chris Alton, Zulaikha Ayub, Alex Chen, Leif Estrada, Justin Kollar, Patrick Leonard, Martin Pavlinic, Andreas Viglakis, Matthew Wilson ] Following a seminar in critical and social cartography at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, course participants set about writing a manifesto of sorts, a provocation in the thinking and practice of geographic representation. Make art, not maps. Talk is cheap. So are pixels and kilobytes. To build is more labored than to destroy, and maintaining the tenere of an attentional wave is the work of humanist scholars, artists, writers, poets, playwrights, and architects—and not for gaggles of open-source spectators. Masterpieces are immutable. Let's build masterpieces or #dietrying. We would rather enter the ground in pursuit of ineffability than constantly losing face in the mangle in which we are all subsumed. Harness confusion. How maps and mapping need to be rethought starts with a rejection of both the possibility and desirability