Research

Wordling to a definition

By Scott Nesbit and Don Lafreniere

NEH Advanced Institute Scholars

We’ve had some fruitful conversations attempting to define what constitutes a deep map.  We used wordle to attempt to organize our thoughts.  We decided to represent a version of our wordle here, aggregating the answers to the three questions while adding to our stopword list the most obvious characters: space, spatial, place, deep map, mapping, must.   As a point of comparison, we would like to juxtapose this list with one generated from the required readings we did before arriving, the essays collected in Spatial Narratives and Deep Maps.  We excluded footnotes and the obvious stopwords.

Here is the result:

These pieces of writing were different genres, clearly, but they point to ways that we might extend and revise our vocabulary as we come to an understanding of what we mean by deep maps.  Our list is much more focused on multiplicity; theirs has the word “one” in a prominent place.  Theirs places more emphasis on names, time and events; ours, on data and sources.  We studiously avoid referencing GIS; Geographic Information Systems feature prominently in theirs.  Our wordles find a common, prominent place for narrative.  We look forward to extending this conversation, beginning with our agreed-upon emphasis on narratives in space, which has always been at the core of our purpose in coming here.

(This post was originally published on Polis Center at IUPUI’s blog on June 22,2012)

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