Week 4: Tuesday, February 9: MAPPING (IN) THE FIELD I

Kevin Lynch, Extract from The Perceptual Form of the City, Boston, Massachusetts, 1954-1959, via MIT Archives.

This week we’ll think about ethnographies of mapping, as well as the use of cartography in ethnography and as a method in fieldwork within other scholarly disciplines and fields of practice. 


  • GUEST, 6 – 7-ish: Cartographer and PhD Student David Garcia [Twitter]
  • Map Critiques #1: Blake, Jason, Oscar
  • Reading Discussion 


Ethnographies of Navigation, Orientation, and Mapmaking:

Mapmaking as an Ethnographic Method: 

Tiffany Chu, Mapping Vietnam

Supplemental Resources: 

  • Ruben Anderson, “Here Be Dragons: Mapping an Ethnography of Global Danger,” Current Anthropology 57:6 (December 2016): 707-31.
  • Jess Bier, Mapping Israel, Mapping Palestine: How Occupied Landscapes Shape Scientific Knowledge (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2017).
  • **Jess Bier, “Palestinian State Maps and Imperial Technologies of Staying Put,” Public Culture 29:1 (2016): 53-78.
  • *Barry Brown and Eric Laurier, “Maps and Car Journeys: An Ethno-Methodological Approach,” Cartographica 40:3 (2005): 17-33.
  • Mac Chapin and Bill Threlkeld, Indigenous Landscapes: A Study in Ethnocartography (Center for the Support of Native Lands, 2001). 
  • Chris Brennan-Horley, Susan Luckman,  Chris Gibson, and Julie Willoughby-Smith, “GIS, Ethnography, and Cultural Research: Putting Maps Back Into Ethnographic Mapping,” The Information Society 2 (2010). 
  • Culture Mapping 2020 conference, NYU, April 2020: videos
  • Michel de Certeau, “Spatial Practices” In The Practice of Everyday Life (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1984): 100-134; Hand Drawn Map Association.
  • Walter Dostal, “Toward Ethnographic Cartography: A Case Study,” Current Anthropology 25:3 (1984): 340-44. 
  • Elijah Adiv Edelman, “Mapping as Method: Articulations of Bodies in Place” in Trans Vitalities: Mapping Ethnographies of Trans, Social and Political Coalitions (Routledge, 2020). 
  • *David Farrier, “Desire Paths,” emergence magazine (October 13, 2020). 
  • Alfred Gell, “How to Read a Map: Remarks on the Practical Logic of Navigation,” Man 20:2 (1985): 271-86.
  • Carolin Genz and Diana Lucas-Drogan, “Decoding Mapping as Practice: An Interdisciplinary Approach in Architecture and Urban Anthropology,” Urban Transcripts 1:4 (2017/2018). 
  • Neha Guta, “Maps and Myths,” Anthropology News (November 10, 2017). 
  • Tim Ingold, Lines: A Brief History (Routledge, 2007). 
  • Tim Ingold, “To Journey Along a Way of Life,” The Perception of the Environment: Essays on Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill (Routledge, 2011). 
  • *Kiril V. Istomin and Mark J. Dwyer, “Finding the Way: A Critical Discussion of Anthropological Theories of Human Spatial Orientation with Reference to Reindeer Herders of Northeastern Europe and Western Siberia,” Current Anthropology 50:1 (2009): 29-42. 
  • Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (New York: Verso, 1991): 49-54, 413-18. 
  • Rob Kitchin, Justin Gleeson & Martin Dodge, “Unfolding Mapping Practices: A New Epistemology for Cartography,” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 38:3 (July 2013): 480-96 [on ethnographies of making +  using maps].
  • Kevin Lynch, “The City Image and Its Elements” In The Image of the City (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1960): 46-90.
  • Tom Martin, “Ethnographic Mapping,” in Alia R. Tyner-Mullings, Mary Gatta, and Ryan Coughlan, eds., Ethnography Made Easy (Manifold, 2020). 
  • Maria Teresa Nobre, Ana Karenina Arraes Amorim, and Simone Frangella, “Ethnography, Cartography, Ethnomapping: Dialogues and Compositions in the Field of Research,” Estudios de Psicologia 24:1 (2019). 
  • *Benjamin Orlove, “The Ethnography of Maps: The Cultural and Social Contexts of Cartographic Representation in Peru,” Cartographica 30:1 (1993): 29-46. 
  • Vishvajit Pandya, “Movement and Space: Andamanese Cartography,” American Ethnologist 17:4 (1990). 
  • *Brenda Parker, “Constructing Community Through Maps? Power and Praxis in Community Mapping,” The Professional Geographer 58:4 (2004): 470-84.
  • Tristan Partridge, “Diagrams in Anthropology: Lines and Interactions,” Anthropology Off the Grid (n.d.). 
  • *Chris Perkins, “Cultures of Map Use,” The Cartographic Journal 45:2 (2008). 
  • Linda Poon, “Maps Made ‘From the Mind,’ Not from GPS,” CityLab (November 10, 2015). 
  • Les Roberts, ed., Mapping Cultures: Place, Practice, Performance (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) – especially Cohen, Long + Collins, Andrews, Ben-Ze’ev, and Wood). 
  • Rydal, “Mapping Self in Society: A Personal Geography & Critical Spatial Inquiry Teaching Framework”  
  • Thurka Sangaramoorthy and Karen A. Kroeger, Rapid Ethnographic Assessments: A Practical Approach and Toolkit for Collaborative Community Research (Routledge, 2020). 
  • Rebecca Solnit, Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2010).
  • Nato Thompson, Experimental Geography: Radical Approaches to Landscape, Cartography, and Urbanism (Brooklyn: Melville House, 2008).
  • Janet Vertesi, “Mind the Gap: The London Underground Map and Users’ Representations of Urban Space,” Social Studies of Science 38:1 (2008): 7-33.
  • *Clancy Wilmott, “‘Mapping-With’: The Politics of (Counter-)Classification in OpenStreetMap,” Cartographic Perspectives 92 (2019).