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The Problems in Mapping (Juan) Madrid

Authors: Malcolm Compitello*, University Of Arizona
Topics: Cartography, Urban Geography, Cultural Geography
Keywords: Mapping, Urban Space, Madrid
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper documents work on a project to develop tools to map spaces represented in cultural works to maps of those places. The assumption is that these mechanisms permit a better calibration of the relationships between the evolution of a place’s-built environment and imaginary projections of real spaces in works of cultural creation. The current paper discusses one particular phase in this process. It involves working with students in a course on city, cultural and capital in Spain to do the mapping of particular literary work as a test case, and working with a doctoral student in computational linguistics to develop a script to machine read the texts to find the place related information they contain. The corpus for the project is the work of the Spanish novelist Juan Madrid. His work represents an ideal case since over a span of almost forty years Madrid penned more than thirty narrative texts inextricably bound up in the transformations of the city of Madrid. In addition to what new can be specifically gleaned about the author’s texts from information that the mapping tool reveals, it provides a useful prototype for other scholars. It will allow then to map the work of other authors, in Spain and around the globe. Sharing this information has powerful research and pedagogical implications for future work on the relationships between real spaces and their imaginary recreations.

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