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Accepted Paper:

Putting the Carte before the Source: Re/producing the Past and Present Arctic through the Map  


Roger Norum (University of Oulu)

Paper short abstract:

Through a study of historical and contemporary Arctic mapmaking, this paper considers the current uses and future potentialities of cartographic representation involving participatory, sensory and immersive technologies for the study of humans, environments and a sustainable planet.

Paper long abstract:

This talk presents a study of contemporary and historical mapmaking in northern spaces. Over the past century or so, the mapping of the "remote" North has almost invariably been based on remotely sensed visual data from satellites, with the occasional added bit of biodiversity data. This has led to a concentration of visually represented human impacts while neglecting the particular ecological - and indeed human subjective - components of wildness, which are more markedly difficult to assess at scale. And yet, recent scholarship has also suggested that a wilderness experience is a multi-sensory and subjective component. Considering a collaborative project in Abisko, Northern Sweden, to creatively integrate into cartographic reproductions human experiential and phenomenological data related to being in nature, this talk speaks to an inclusion of the cartographic imagination into discussions on nature reading and nature writing, a process through which engineers, cartographers, scholars and laypeople can write human experience, perception and memory into cartographic production. Within contemporary processes of colonisation, de-colonisation, and scramble (Craciun 2009) for a post-colonial Arctic (Huggan and Jensen 2016), past and present cartographic anxieties speak to a need to de-colonise not just texts and maps but processes and epistemologies of writing. This multi-disciplinary talk explores the current uses and future potentialities of participatory, sensory and immersive technologies in the study of humans, environments and sustainabilities, and their representations.

Panel MA02
Scaling the map: Contemporary theoretical and methological innovations in participatory cartographic production