Assignment Notes

  • Assignment 3: good work!
    • note: div:nth-child() means “any div that is the nth-child())”, not “the nth child of any div
  • Assignment 4: not up yet! But the non-technical instructions in last year’s version will still apply.


  • Hermeneutics and understanding
  • What does it mean to understand large numbers of texts, and what is the nature of expertise?
  • searching vs browsing
  • data as evidence, data as inspiration


  • Space & Place
  • The Work Maps Do: lying; presenting; creating

Spatial Turn

  • Space and “place”
  • Space as historically constituted
  • What is “the History of a place?”

Questions for us

  • What does it mean to foreground spatial characteristics in a spatial history?
  • How do maps & media transform the kinds of stories we can tell

Looking at Whales

  • impressive data collection
  • arresting images
  • but conclusion is about pillage: not immediately apparent to the eye.

One version of the story

Lying with Maps

  • maps are rhetorical objects
  • use of shade, color, can be very misleading
  • same numbers can produce very different visualizations

birth rates


“Critical” Cartography

  • if maps “lie”, or, at least, if maps are arguments, then:
    • what relations of power do they reveal/participate in?
    • if we are aware of the “lying”, how can we work with it critically?

Maps Make Landscapes

  • U.S. Land Ordinance of 1785 establishes grid mappping method as national system
  • lots sold according to this method

Maps Reinscribe Power

  • “Home Owners Loan Corporations (HOLC) (1930’s)
    • US Federal Agency in New Deal
    • tasked with preventing foreclosures
    • ranked neighbourhoods by “desirability”
    • ancestor to contemporary maps used by real estate brokers

Mapping enrols State Power


…and technological power