Province – 3
It was wonderful hearing about the progress being made in the Pimbahal Pokhari! It has been a while since the earthquake damaged so many of our heritage sites, and I am glad that the reconstruction work is finally being implemented.
This news has even inspired me to base my final project on post-disaster relief and reform operations. I have decided to analyze the role of understanding the presence of our heritage sites, dotted against Kathmandu’s busy, bustling, and urban backdrop, and how its location in relation to the city impacts the post-disaster recovery projects. This is one of the many implementations of mapping I have discovered in my core class. Since I know that you are intrigued and always fascinated by how far technology has come in terms of satellite imagery and tracking our location through our hand-held devices, I thought I’d tell you about my core class: Data and Human Space.
The class is exactly what it sounds like! We explore data in many forms – reports, maps, and business directories among others – that define how we, humans have managed to claim and represent space throughout the years. Since the class has to do with space, you can guess that we saw a lot of maps! But these maps weren’t like the ones we flip through in atlases, but they hold a more detailed and unique documentation of places and events.
For instance, we watched videos that discussed how pointing out zones with high crime rates by mapping them allowed people to avoid these areas, promoting their safety. Another interesting implementation of mapping was its use in urban planning; policy makers would analyse maps showcasing the production and harvest of different regions, which helped them make decisions on resource allocation and deployment of infrastructure development plans.
While these implementations may seem more obvious as it involves mapping current situations, we came across some other uses of mapping, some which we didn’t really have an idea of before. The application of mapping I found most interesting was the project Mapping the Mahjar, which represents the Syrian immigration to the United States in the late 1800s. It gathered information from business directories, census records, naturalization documents, passport applications and city directories and projected it into a map to visualize the stories of the business owners who migrated to the United States. It even incorporates details about the immigrants personal and professional lives into an interactive map, and presents a narrative of the lives of Syrian immigrants. This was something I couldn’t have imagined before, and I found it extremely intriguing how mapping data from sources such as business directories could provide an overview of a migration movement.
This class has made us realize the vast scope of not only mapping, but also of understanding the relationship between humans and their space and how we claim and represent it in a unique way.
I imagine you’ll be keeping yourself busy exploring all these amazing projects, and I can’t wait to show you my final project for this class when I come home for the holidays!
See you soon!