Thursday, January 9, 2014

Where is the Southwest?: Neogeographic applications to Vernacular Geography.

M. Anwar Sounny-Slitine

Vernacular Geography is the way that we see and talk about our world and is how we commonly described and navigate our environment. Research in vernacular geography was pioneered by Wilbur Zelinsky and Terry Jordan-Bychkov in the late 70s and early 80s. Zelinsky’s approach was to compile vernacular regions in the United States by surveying common geographic business names in telephone directories. Jordan-Bychkov took a direct approach through uses of surveys of freshman students throughout Texas to map with great detail the vernacular regions of Texas. This research updates this concept with web mapping, allowing people to interactively digitize their own vernacular geography through an online survey asking “Where is the Southwest?”

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