Investigating Digital Cartographies of Spanish Detective Fiction

Map of one of the novels

Events and 2012 economic data

Nick Phillips (Assistant Professor, Spanish, Grinnell College) and undergraduate Margaret Giles have amassed a large collection of maps for their project “Investigating Digital Cartographies of Spanish Detective Fiction.” These maps cover four different novels and can be utilized in two different courses. The team stayed with Barcelona for the second novel, and as the weeks progressed, was able to speed up the process and create a similar data set of maps in much less time. After making these basic templates, Giles was able to source local data, such as population figures, GDP per capita, immigration flows, and other economic and social figures, and overlay them onto the maps with the action and movements of the fictional novelistic world also displayed. These maps allow the viewer to contemplate both the “real world” data and the fictional aspects of the novel at the same time, all while highlighting the spatial connections between these worlds.

Henry Mahar picked up where Margaret left off, and continued work involving the mapping of a third novel, as well as a transition to a new mapping software, ArcGIS online with Nick Phillips. Help from Kathrine Walden regarding learning the new software has made the entire process much smoother. New web map applications are being made with the same goals as the Carto maps in mind. Current goals for the project include finishing mapping the third novel, designing a navigable map involving all three novels, and hosting the maps online.