mapping books

I just came across the companion site for the book Else/Where: Mapping New Cartographies of Networks and Territories edited by Janet Abrams and Peter Hall. This book looks fascinating, and I’m going to be ordering it from the University of Minnesota Press. The book “charts the ascendancy of mapping as a powerful interdisciplinary strategy that links people and places, data and organizations, and physical and virtual environments.”

The web site has the most incredible map: “W.Bradford Paley’s TextArc version of the book [which] shows each page as thumbnail and highlights the most-used terms”:

TextArc “is a tool designed to help people discover patterns and concepts in any text by everaging a powerful, underused resource: human visual processing. It compliments approaches such as Statistical Natural Language Processing and Computational Linguistics by providing an verview, letting intuition help extract meaning from an unread text” (from their pdf overview). It the pet project of one person, W. Bradford Paley, a self-described “interaction designer,” and many others who have provided support. Here is a TextArc of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (click on the image to go to the interactive version; go here first to verify that your browser is supported):

I am blown away by this. It’s too late to write anything about it now, but I will when I have a few minutes to really figure out what I am seeing, what I think about it, and how it could be used in the classroom.

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