Week 8: Perspectives on Mapping 4: Narrativising Place

Lecture :
How are advances in technologies changing the way we tell stories, to locate narrative spatially? How have mobile and located technologies changed the way we tell stories about place or experience spatial stories?
How is storytelling and location-based technology being used to locate and convey information about historical facts, events, biographical information or material culture? [slides]

Watch this video lecture by Misha Myers, which offers a brief introduction to the topic before we meet and before you get started with the related activities you’ll undertake this week independently and in tutorials.

Have a look at this website to see more documentation of the Nobody’s Ocean project discussed in the video:


Oppegaard, Brett & Dene Grigar. 2014. The Interrelationships of Mobile Storytelling: Merging the Physical and the Digital at a National Historic Site. In Jason. Farman (ed.), The mobile story: narrative practices with locative technologies, 17–33. New York: Routledge. [pdf]


Activity 1:
Look at these websites and think about the questions:

Echoes from the Past
(and a talk about the project)

Trailer for Magic in Modern London

Transborder Immigrant Tool

Migration Trail

ACMI Panel Discussion – The Future of Storytelling

Discuss the different projects that you looked at and how they conveyed information. What information were they conveying? How did they use the combination of narrative, place and technology to do this?  How did they use movement through time and/or space to tell the story/convey the information?

Activity 2:
Create a mobile phone usage log

  1. Over 24 hours log all the applications and activity of using your phone which involves stories
  2. Looking over your log, how do you use your phone to share or access stories visually, textually, sonically and how are these stories located? What apps did you use that were infused with stories or could be? What apps include data about your location while using them?

In groups of 4-6 discuss the ways you found that you share or access stories with your mobile phone in the log.

Activity 3: Immersive Narrative Tours
Working in groups, choose one of the campus locations that you revisited in week 5’s session
Create a short prototype of a narrative tour for someone to visit the place/s. Use sound, image and movement through space to convey information about the location. The tour should start from the tutorial location and should take no more than 15 minutes to return to the lecture space.
Use any applications and features of a smartphone that are used everyday to facilitate the experience of the location.
You might use your sound recordings, images or a digital map of the location/s as narrative elements of your tour.
Remember these are prototypes. So you can use whatever materials you need that are easily at hand for both you and your user and within your technical capacities to use to help your user access the different elements as smoothly as possible. For example, you might use some paper-based materials, instructions or maps along with the smartphone to help facilitate the experience.

Have your tour at least as a story board – even better if you have some digital content to share – and be ready to present it to the other groups.

Using Audacity

Exercise: Adding sound in WordPress

  1. Use one of the recordings you have made on campus, or make a recording on your phone, or use Audacity and the internal microphone on your computer (more on recording with Audacity).
  2. Open your recording in Audacity (if you used your phone, you will need to upload the file to a computer)
  3. Do some basic editing – for example, delete the start and end of the recording if they are not important, or add fades at either end.
  4. Save the results as an mp3 file, then upload this to your WordPress Media Library
  5. Start editing a new page or post and insert your audio using Add Media – WordPress will automatically insert its audio player.
  6. Preview your page/post and check that the audio works.

Audio to explore: oral history Australian Generations, dialect archive

Header image: Photograph by Mhairi Law for The Walking Library for a Wild City  project co-created by Misha Myers & Dee Heddon.