Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mapping the Vernacular Geography of Southwestern University Students

Kyle Mathis, Environmental Studies Program

Vernacular geography is the sense of place that is reflected in ordinary people’s language use. This is the way that people discuss and refer to locations central to their world in their own customary terms - such as the unofficial names for streets, neighborhoods, landmarks, and other geographic features. These places often have boundaries that change from individual to individual based on their personal interactions and experiences with those places. Variations among individuals’ definitions of a place
make vernacular geography difficult to map. This project attempts to create a map - based on the concept of vernacular geography - of Southwestern and the parts of Georgetown (landmarks, prominent areas, and commonly used parts of town) with which Southwestern students interact.

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