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The Carolina Cartography Collective: Visualizing Vieques

Authors: Nick Scheffer*, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Isabelle Smith, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Klaus Mayr, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Javier Arce-Nazario, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Topics: Cartography
Keywords: Political Ecology, Landscape, Cartography
Session Type: Guided Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Carolina Cartography Collective is an interdisciplinary team that integrates diverse theoretical and methodological approaches including GIS, archival research, art, political ecology, and decolonial theory. The Collective, a group of undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty members, are collaborating their efforts on the project Visualizing Vieques. The project aims to creatively show spatial histories of the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, with particular attention to the impacts of the US Navy occupation. Georectified aerial images of Vieques from 1937, 1977, and 1983 illustrate the intense changes inflicted on the landscape while it was used for bomb testing; while archival sources, conversations with Vieques residents, and environmental data help to contextualize this change. The Collective’s goal is to explore how collaborative data visualization and mapping can produce different ways of thinking about the relationship between space, data, and histories in Vieques. Thus, the visualizations we create will culminate in exhibitions and an online platform that will be shared both in North Carolina and in Puerto Rico.

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