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Finding Ourselves from Ptolemy to GPS: Creating, Exploring, and Communicating Personal Cartographies with Technology
The Annual HRC/CDHR Lecture in Digital Humanities and Public Culture
It is relatively simple to ask how human beings locate themselves with technology: in the present age, Global Position Systems (GPS) have become an integral part of “smartphone culture”; until fairly recently map-reading was a learned skill that was essential to many endeavours; and there are myriad ways to encode, describe and communicate our location visually and verbally. Yet the need to identify where we are, and our capacity to do so, has been has been with us for many centuries. As a result, there are now myriad was to record our “personal cartographies” – the spatial traces that we leave in the world. This talk will offer a broad perspective of what personal cartography is and means in the digital age, and ask what is special about the way computers capture and mediate our location.