Sevil SETEN, Ecole Doctorale Société, Temps et Territoires (STT) Nantes - AAU/CRENAU, France
Laurence JOLIVET, LASTIG, Univ Gustave Eiffel, IGN-ENSG , France
Catherine DOMINGUÈS, LASTIG, Univ Gustave Eiffel, IGN-ENSG , France
Éric MERMET, CNRS - EHESS/CAMS, France
Mapping the perception of an urban space is a challenging task as it is composed of numerous features with various uses. To locate oneself, a person identifies landmarks that are selected by a set of filters including personal background, emotions, senses and social factors (Bailly, 1974; Cauvin, 1999). Thus, associated maps result from a series of cognitive functions and information selections made by the map-maker (Avry, 2012).
In this paper, discussion focuses on how space is mapped as perceived and if this mapping is effectively shareable. To do so, an experiment was conducted within the framework of the seminar Carte Sensible (EHESS, since 2016). In the district of the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, a walk was organized along a unique itinerary during which each participant chose an observation filter (vegetation, sidewalk width, noises, etc.). Afterwards, an indoor session of individual and collective mapping took place.
The analyses included spatialisation of information (personal or Euclidean referential) and semiology (original or conventional). Individual maps indicate subjectivity to space as they are mainly originally designed, even if each map-maker has its own drawing skills. The subjectivity is also reflected on collective maps which inherit from the individual maps and investigations. Though collective maps appear as more conventional with a likely intention of being read and shared.
The experiment corresponds to a rich methodological approach as it provides persistent and potentially shareable cartographical materials. The contents of maps may be more or less easily interpreted depending on how personal the designs are, and may require explanatory comments from the map-makers. Besides observation filters may be used to study one or several specific aspects in urban space (e.g. street arts) shaping urban atmospheres (Kulmann, 2018). Thus, sensitive mapping approaches can be integrated into research in urban planning, anthropology or human geography.
Keywords: sensitive mapping|observation filters|urban space|perception