Surface Dialogues

Margaret Pearce, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Kansas, and Anne Ray Fellow, SAR

Colloquium, SAR Boardroom

Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 12:00–1:00 pm, Free

Margaret Wickens PearceMargaret Wickens Pearce2012–2013 Anne Ray Resident Scholar, photograph by Jason S. OrdazMargaret Wickens Pearce2012–2013 Anne Ray Resident Scholar, photograph by Jason S. Ordaz

It is simpler to connect cultures with cartography when the stories can be told in vector: using points, lines, and words. Vector is flexible and allows multiple discourses to share the same space. But in the climate and cultural data of East Africa, most of the stories are encoded as continuous surfaces, or raster. Raster is less flexible because it forms a solid grid of pixels across the map and resists incorporation with other grids. How can cultures be connected when their stories are continuous surfaces? Can raster make room for the transcultural? The question is central to building dialogue in the pixel-driven world of climate data. In this talk, I’ll show you how I am making my way through the answer.

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