The Digital Deep Mapping collective is an interdisciplinary group of researchers exploring the intersection of digital methods with the practice of deep mapping.
Since William Least Heat-Moon first used the term in PrairyErth: A Deep Map, interest in deep mapping has typically favoured analogue media and modes of expression. Such mappings took the form of narrative descriptions of place, and of journeys and spatial itineraries, that were often highly idiosyncratic and exhaustively detailed. The deep map finds its depth or meaning in the richness of experience it conveys.
In recent years there has been a growing interest in diagramming these itineraries, interactions, events and experiences, pinning them to place through the use of GIS. This digital medium splits the map into thematic or dated layers, recorded in a database, available for retrieval, analysis, display and, perhaps, their reanimation of the computer screen.
Digital technologies enable forms of mediation and action at a distance which seem removed from the concerns of presence, immediacy and embodiment invested in previous deep mappings. Digital technologies are increasingly the means by which we record our experiences and monitor the traces of objects, events and affect.
The GIS-based map has the structure of a palimpsest, depth is equated with time, the new occludes the old on the visual display. Mapped experience sticks to is proper place. The objects of Deep Mapping don’t keep to their proper places in space and time so easily. The objects of Deep Mapping have greater dimension.