WherecampDC thoughts on place

(Apologies – I’m tidying up my backlog of draft posts, so some of the following posts will be a little late and/or sketchy.)

Most objects have a physical geography.  Some of the ones that might not (the argument continues) are part of the Internet, but most objects and the data they generate can be tied to a specific place or places (e.g. a crisismapper in London mapping Haiti on a server in Luxembourg has three).

So is what we’re doing here an extension of human geography, the study of the interactions between people and place?

Maps contain objects that are important to people. So a ‘conventional’, bought-over-the-counter paper map will contain things like roads, trees, buildings, post offices, hospitals, trig points.  I’m wondering today if we’re adding vulnerability overlays or complete layers to our maps.

For instance, if a conventional map contains health facilities and we’re tracking an epidemic, then are we creating the ‘shadows’ of those facilities.  Is deforestation the shadow of trees? Food crisis the shadow of markets, fields and roads?

It’s also interesting to think about the touch points between visualization and gis.  If a visualization has place, does that become a map?  Or a vizualisation informed by a map?

Hmm… time to wander over to the W3C Points of Interest working group, and see where they’ve got to with this.