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Geostorytelling, or The “Where” of DS106

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As mentioned to here, I’m intrigued by the digital/analog interface as it relates to ds106, and I’ve been thinking about the concept of encoding geo-awareness into digital storytelling.  Let’s call it geostorytelling.  Here are a couple of examples I find thought-provoking:

  • Google Lit Trips – I like this project, which basically consists of creating maps of significant events in a work of literature, like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.
  • Have a look at David Silver’s Digital Journalism work, wherein students are required to go out into the world and take photos, then generate maps about their “beat.”
  • I’ve done a bit of augmented reality development using Layar, and I think the tool has a lot of potential.  Check out this example, in which historical photos are overlaid onto reality, giving users a glimpse of the past.

I love the idea of a Google Maps/Earth biography – mapping, writing about, presenting photos of significant events in one’s life, situated in space.  The placemarks needn’t be solely concrete – certainly “the house I grew up in,” would make the map, but also things like “where I was when I heard about the Challenger disaster,” or “where I overcame my fear of snakes,” or “where I realized the universe is a huge place.”  I think it would be interesting to analyze such maps, to look for commonalities, to be surprised by the influence of place on one’s personal story.

Most of these examples seem grounded in the real, but how might the concept of “place,” and associated tools, e.g., Google Maps and Earth, be woven into some of the other generative examples that have appeared in ds106, like CogDog’s Five Card Stories and  @botheredbybee’s character generator?

I’d love to see an aggregate map of the “where” of ds106.  Maybe I’ll cook something up (if the power stays on)…

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