reading as mapping…

OOooooooh. Love. Love, love.

Google Lit Trips is a project that marries reading with mapping, using Google Maps to chart the journey of characters through space – Macbeth through the moors of Scotland, Odysseus around the Mediterranean, even (what really sold me) Possum Magic’s Grandma Poss and Hush from city to city across Australia.

It’s an interesting (although definitely debatable) correlation of imaginary space with geophysical topography.

The idea that you can map mental spaces onto physical ones fascinates me.

I’ve written about another example (with painting, this time) here.

Meanwhile, mulling… there’s something thrilling about these apps that I can’t quite put my finger on, and I think it’s something to do with the fact that mapmaking is such an act of storytelling anyway, which apps like Nokia viNe and even Foursquare (in its latest incarnation) recognise.

Will post more once figured out.

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2 thoughts on “reading as mapping…

  1. I was at an exhibition a while ago that showed how maps actually were an art form through many centuries, or statements of power, or propaganda – in any cases always more than just a map. and I love books that are connected to where I am at the time of reading – so who knows, with these new apps I might soon start buying my books according to geographical criteria 🙂

  2. Me too! I love it when stuff that I’m reading intersects unexpectedly with real life and real places.

    My weirdest reading experience ever was a few years ago, with Amos Oz’s novel ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’. I was overseas at the time – sitting in a park in Jerusalem, just reading in the sun, and then got on to a paragraph about a particular park in Jerusalem… and looked up from the page to realise that was precisely where I was sitting at that moment…

    What’s the word? Not ‘synchronicity’, because that’s about time, but something similar to do with space. Congruity. Convergence.

    Whatever it is, it’s a strange sensation. It’s spooky. Like being haunted by a book.

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