Having finished this dissertation project of mine, I’ve been thinking about the big picture view of my research, which has led me to explore mapping and GIS, which in turn has pointed me towards an episode of This American Life on mapping and cartography. All of this is to say that what I’m about to write about is sort of a stretch, but does actually come out of the dissertating process.
The TAL episode in question talks about a lot of different kinds of maps (odd spatial ones, aural, olifactory) and basically makes an argument that almost anything can work in map form. So today, as I was walking to the train post-Nemopocalypse, it occurred to me that the bands of unshoveled sidewalks between houses might be read as a map of contested property boundaries. Neither neighbor wants to shovel any more than they absolutely have to, so these unshoveled spaces seem to indicate divergent expectations about property lines.
Now, back to learning GIS.
Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t link to Strange Maps when writing about strange maps.