A small charger-cable mishap (not James’ fault in any way, shape, or form!) has led to the slight delay of this blogpost, but nevertheless we can now talk about a fantastic event the team was kindly invited to: Mapping the Text 2018 (the first of hopefully many more), held at NYU and hosted by Prof. Moacir P. de Sa Pereira and the NYScapes research network.
Although the team’s exciting explorations of the city could fill several blog posts, we had best stick solely to the event…
The Friday session was a training event, where the NYU Data Services team demonstrated the creation of simple GIS databases (using song titles that reference New York places for the dataset) using the Awesome Geocode plug-in for google docs, and in turn using the co-ordinates to form interactive story maps. Fantastic deep mapping opportunities, that the team will be exploring in greater detail.
Saturday was the event itself – and never have we attended an event where every single paper was of such relevance to our work. The entire event was live-streamed, so if you are interested in any of the panels (including all three of ours!) the recording can be found here. The organising team also live tweeted under
#MapTxt18, with plenty of pics and snippets. James spoke first in the afternoon, examining the CLAYE XML schema we have developed; Rebecca presented in the following session on the Romantic Bristol app (emphasising it was not a dating app!); and Sally closed the day wth a plenary discussing the concept of the Bahktinian chronotope (delighting the audience with wonderful examples of literary maps from Pilgrim’s Progress). Our work resonated with so many of the attendees, and will hopefully lead to ongoing contact with everyone involved in the event.
The event hammered home the difficulties in integrating fictional spaces within traditional models, so our focus on linguistic and non-standard visualisations of narrative worlds really does stand alone in the field.
The following day held a final session – a ‘hackathon’ – where a few of the attendees gathered over coffee and doughnuts (traditional coding fare) and discussed some of the methodologies of our research in greater detail. Dr Elton Barker ran us through the Recogito aspect of the Pelagios Project (an extremely versatilte toolset but still heavily dependent on places being ‘real’), and Sally introduced Litcraft to everyone. It took most of the audience by surprise, but… that is exactly what we aim for! A little different in scope from the rest of the session, but it demonstrated nicely how we have ‘hacked’ the text into a new iterative form to encourage a whole new dimension of engagement for a targetted audience.
The event was unparalleled in how it connected to our research, and once again the team would like to express its gratitude to everyone involved in organising it. It was a great event, that presented several new ideas to explore and introduced us to so many people with which to keep in touch. As Moacir stated in his welcome, we hope the weekend doesn’t mark a culmination point, but rather serves as just one node on our own path of contact.