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Praxis – Mapping Geographies of Self

Posted by Jesse Rice-Evans (she/they) on

For this praxis assignment, I chose to work with Google Maps. I am already experienced with the platform, and the other suggested mapping softwares seemed intimidating on top of the abundance of other stuff I had to do over the past two weeks, so Maps was a perfect choice. I’ve actually been working on mapping locations where I work on my new writing project: a collection of autotheoretical short prose essays on chronic pain and embodiment. This project gave me the actual push I’ve needed to digitalization my lo-fi mapping (writing down lists of places I work in my phone).

As I develop notes towards my dissertation, I am embracing the role my own body plays in my writing and reading practices more and more. It seems silly to write about embodiment in any sort of abstracted way since the body is the thing doing the work of writing and theorizing. The weirdness appears in figuring out the relationships between and among the body and disembodied sites of writing and practice, like digital spaces. This mapping gave me a needed opportunity to start tracing a visual-spatial trail of how I move through 3D geographies while contributing to my ongoing move towards digitalizing my notes in readable forms.

Since I was stuck an extra day in Chicago, I decided to add locations where I had been on email, writing, reading, doing homework assignments, or otherwise “laboring” while in town. (This is also maybe revelatory of my reframing of “work” to shake off a long time on shift schedules, and to provide evidence that being an adjunct/“funded” graduate student means *never not working*.) Next, I’m adding layers of commuting and travel maps to make visible my movement around the city by car and train and walking—I haven’t yet figured out how to express that which choice I make depends largely upon my health at that moment, or anticipating my health later in the day.

Maps doesn’t make it easy to input actual circuitous routes, as it automatically adjusts the routes to highlight the fastest way from point to point, which isn’t actually always the way we went. That aside, though, I like this feature, and I know of accessibility scholars who have taken up adding notes of locations of curb cuts and other accessibility markers.

I also tried to implement this mapping strategy across my home state of North Carolina, which I visit about once a year, but the much larger scale made mapping less effective:

I’d like to figure out more intuitive ways to trace movement, but I do appreciate that I could demarcate each location with a customized icon and color. I don’t really understand why my own maps aren’t integrated with my use of the Google Maps app, but I’m also iffy about all my data being used everywhere!


Mapping the route of “A streetcar named Desire”

Posted by clararamazzotti on

For this assignments I looked at the different tools offered to find what could be more “user-friendly”, and unfortunately I have Linux so I had some problem with Google Earth and the Tour Builder tool that I wanted to use. For this reason I chose ArcGIS.

I just spend some days in New Orleans so my idea was to try to understand the real route of a streetcar, and the most famous streetcar ever in that city is the William’s one.

Tennessee Williams lived in New Orleans for several years, and for this reason he decided to write about it, as he recognized in NOLA his “spiritual town”. The William’s house was (or better to say IS, you could visit if you want) in the French Quarter, at 1014 Dumaine Street.

The mapping: first of all, “Desire” is the name of a street where the streetcar did its route, so actually this should enter in the itinerary. The Desire Line ran from 1920 to 1948. It ran down Royal, through the Quarter, to Desire Street in the Bywater district, and back up to Canal.So the characters in the play took a streetcar named Desire, transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at Elysian Fields Avenue on its way to Canal Street (I checked with the RTA website: http://www.norta.com/Maps-Schedules/System-Map/Line.aspx?ID=10836).


I put images on the map but PROBLEM: I’m not able to see them (in my mind their visualization was the same as on Google Maps when they pop-up at the mouse’s passage) and I didn’t understand how to use them properly in this map and PROBLEM II: I’d like to create a more complex and detailed map, but at the end I created something too simple. 

Link to the The map

I could do the same with more effort using literary guide books (as I have about my city, Milan, in Italy) but it really needs time and great attention to details, and maybe a real visit on the streets.

During this assignments I was thinking to The Lord of the Rings: we could create an imaginary itinerary about all the books that talks about travels and discovery, also if they are not in a real world? I found this: http://lotrproject.com/map/#zoom=3&lat=-1315.5&lon=1500&layers=BTTTTT.


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