The academic road show? A better title than the one I picked perhaps. I've been on the road with the interlocking narrative of personal history and academic engagements creating odd synergy. My title for this blog, Hybrid Graphic Space captures an element of my overall thinking. I only do one thing, it seems strange to people, but I'm concerned with space and place. Whatever the medium I'm dealing with, this idea is there. I'm often asking the question, "How much is the socially inscribed meaning linked to people and events shaping our action when we look this?"
In practice, I'm often articulating a way to capture the effect of the intersection of community, identity and policy. Visualization has an important place in that process because the photography and urbanization have deep and complex roots. Suffice to say that the ability to capture the reality of an urban moment and use it to document process has had a powerful effect on the city. Contemporary tools allow students to take up that historic mantle and follow in the footsteps of women and men that wanted to improve the community as part of a broader progressive ideology. The fact of the matter is that we do more than people like J. Horace McFarland with photo and map technology available to us on our phone! We can create visual narratives that can document community in powerful ways. The tools change faster than I can keep track of and that is ok. My goal is not defined by the tool, it is always driven by the idea. Nonetheless, a tool like Knightlab's SnapMap is exciting. It uses the 20 most recent geotagged photos on an Instagram account to create a map. Simple in many ways, with intention this could be a powerful tool to document the community. The SnapMap below emphasizes the often stated idea about me...I get around (people mean that in the best possible way, get your mind out of the gutter).