Making a Map?

If a person uses Google Maps (or Google Local…) to mark all of the
breweries in Chicago,
let’s say, has s.he created a map?

I asked this question today in GEO781, and I learned that just as all
comprhetors don’t agree on what writing is, all geographers don’t agree
on what mapping is. I don’t want to exaggerate the gape between
physical geography and social or human geography, but as these sub-disciplinary
orientations go, so goes the willingness/reluctance to regard maps as
representational and also rhetorical rather than as empirical or somehow

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The Making of…

Coming back to a passage from Manovich that winked at me when I read it last

A visible sign of this shift is the new role that computer-generated special
effects have come to play in the Hollywood industry in the 1990s.  Many
blockbusters have been driven by special effects; feeding on their popularity,
Hollywood has even created a minigenre of "The Making of…," videos and books
that reveal how special effects are created. (300)

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Verbing Method

In 691 Method~ologies this morning, we re-traced some of the semester’s
where have we been
: history, discourse analysis, ethnography and now
theory. Obviously there’s overlap aplenty–blends and
interplays among these methodological orientations. In supershort form, history considers memory, record, retrospectives and recovery; discourse analysis works primarily with language and corpus (linguistic objects of study); ethnography notices people, culture and pattern/dynamics; and theory (small-t)
accounts for a wide variety of stuff not limited to reading, writing, and
thinking. Assemble, arrange, re-arrange, and answer curiosities, solve
problems. No, these aren’t my complete notes, and perhaps these few lines
aren’t very good as thin representations of ten weeks of work.
There’s a whole lot more to say here. But I wanted to raise a side
question or two about method and methodology. When the subject of
method~ology comes up, I’m increasingly tuned in to the part of speech invoked
in the conversation. This has especially been the case with ethnography. The noun positions the method as a thing already done by others; it acknowledges a tradition and model projects against which we measure the edges defining the activity involved with doing ethnography. Is it like documentary? Must it feature human subjects? If we look to a set of nouned ethnographies (things, already-existing objects), then answering is possible. But the answer is set against a generic backdrop of the stuff already done.
I don’t know that we have a good verb for doing ethnography (ethnograph?
ethnographize? um…no). The chosen term, however, has bearing. Consider the
difference between using use the noun–ethnography–or the
adjective–ethnographic–to account for the way of doing, ultimately the
way of describing the research activity. And consider the verbs that we could collect under the broad (or is it narrow) rubric of ethnography: notice, observe, etc. What does this all come to?
Well, I’m finding it more and more appealing to talk about methods as verbs, and
I’m also wondering whether the methodology-as-noun departs from (or, on the
other hand, refers to the same thing as) genre. Near enough as to be thought the same thing?

Program notes: The
fall symposium on
visual and digital rhetorics
is happening on Thursday and Friday–two days
of workshops and talks with Anne Wysocki, Jeff R.,
and Jenny E. What’s not to look forward to?

Google Maps EZ

Google Maps EZ
, you can embed a marked

with ease and include links, text and images (all via HTML) in the
captions associated with each marker (via).



Alliance Bank Stadium


Alliance Bank Stadium

started out in right field,
but as the sun set, it was too
much to bear. Couldn’t
see into the sun. So we switched seats.
Not like it was a
packed stadium that night.
Here’s the perspective from our first
seats at around 6:30 p.m.


Alliance Bank Stadium


Alliance Bank Stadium

When I first tried it out earlier today, I was having trouble with the EXTENT
definitions.  With EXTENT, you can establish the scale and map type
(hybrid, map or satellite), thereby giving the map a stable look. 
The fancy dropcaps feature that I added to the blog a few weeks ago were interfering with the
"E"–grabbing it away from "XTENT" and clouding up the whole process.  With
that resolved, I’ve tried to push just a bit farther to mark the photographed
spaces at a Syracuse Sky Chiefs game in late July (could be anything though). 
Basically, I wanted to integrate the Flickr image sources for the thumbnail
views with links to the larger versions of the photos.  Click on the each of the markers to see what I mean. You can navigate the map with the control buttons, too. In concept, it’s similar to geo-tagging in Flickr, except that it’s localized, speedier and needs
only to work with the images you involve.  I haven’t had much success with
geo-tagging, actually; even after I’ve tagged photos, they only sporadically
cycle into Mappr, and the KML bit with Google Earth doesn’t notice them after a
week.  Always possible that I’m doing something wrong, of course. 

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How to do things with boxes

Rather than diving into John Austin’s How To Do Things With Words
tonight, I’m refueling.  Presented on Foucault–again–tonight; that
went well.  Tomorrow I carry on about Ways of Reading in an online
distance curric. for FYC–talk and talk until folks are yawning or fifteen
minutes passes, whichever comes first.

And to restore my creative groove tonight, I knew what I’d do at the moment
D. pulled the last Puffs tissue from the box here in the office: box
.  I’m ashamed to say I can’t remember the sequence of links that
led me to this the other day (Metafilter?  Slashdot?  Some kind,
unattributed blogger on my roll or one degree removed?).  Shameful, but I’m
filled with gratitude if it’s worth anything.

Here’s the bot.  Unremarkable, perhaps, but carved, scissor notch by
scissor notch, from a drab, empty Puffs box–a box pulled empty of its puffy
softness by the whole family’s first cold in Syracuse. 

Box bot

You really should try one–even especially if it
turns into something you never imagined.