These past weeks I've earmarked many tools, of various complexity and variously high skill-based barriers to entry, that can be used to make map projects. This week, I'd like to close out my unofficial mapping in DH series by looking at an example, one of my favorite public-facing digital humanities projects, Queering the Map.
Queering the Map is a community built map, kind of like what HistoryPin allows one to achieve, where any user can pin queer memories, moments, experiences, and histories.
The value of a digital humanities project like Queering the Map is in the way its form suits its content. The parameters of the project, eg. what "counts" as a pinnable queer moment, are as ephemeral and un-fixed as any other aspect of queer life -- if you know, you know, and the opportunity is yours to make that knoweldge however you like. Accordingly, meaning is made on Queering the Map in open-ended, unexpected, playful ways; people pin first kisses and bad breakups, self-realizations and hard conversations. These are experiences that in other contexts might be only incidentally geographically linked, one part of a whole array of sensations related to a memory, but on Queering the Map they appear purely as geography. With no markers of time period or identity, the pins on Queering the Map create a landscape of queer experience, unbeholden to conventional modes of storytelling.
It's a remarkable project - and I hope an inspiring one in terms of how DH projects allow us to discover new ways of seeing, relating to, and questioning the world around us.