This month’s Renaissance Newsletter has a timeline of the CHART Scarborough project showing the research that went into the creation of the map and how it evolved as a result. You can pick up a free copy from the renaissance centre on Falconers Road [CHART Scarborough grid reference H10] or download it here
If this is your first visit to this site, then welcome – we hope you find it stimulating and useful. This is just a temporary website as we develop a fully interactive web-based version of the CHART Scarborough map. Development is being carried out by University of Hull Creative Enterprise Lab with Dr. John Whelan project managing and Electric Angel Design as consultants to the project. As we keep saying to people, this map is just the start…
In the meantime, please pick up a map (in venues across the town now), download a trail or two and explore.
it’s launch day… we’ll be revealing the map, display stands, postcards and more. just tweaking the visuals. maybe see you there?
Invites to the launch of the printed map and the postcard project have been sent out. Attendees will be the first to get hold of a copy of the map, postcards and will see performances by Stephen Joseph Theatre Outreach and Scarborough HipHop School. They can also follow the trail in the invitation that will guide them around some of Scarborough’s Culture Heritage and ART on the journey to the venue. It happens on Wednesday 7th July at 5pm – get in touch if you’d like to be there.
As proof copies of the map are heading out the door for use in workshops and as visitors to the studio take a look and comment, the main question is as to why it focusses on the town centre when Scarborough is so much more than that.
If you’ve been following progress on this blog, the reason is probably apparent. But if you’re dipping in in advance of the launch event, here’s a quick explanation which will also provide a neat overview of the theory behind the map.
The aim is to steer people to Scarborough’s cultural, historical and arts-related places, and by association, events. By doing so it is hoped that residents and visitors alike will build a picture of Scarborough as a culturally vibrant town and their movements around it will be shaped as a result.
In order to make this happen we felt this had to be a very usable/useful map, not something that would only appeal to people already looking for an arts experience. This led us to cognitive mapping – a theory that you can/should draw maps aligned to how the human brain works when working out journeys. A key part of cognitive mapping is the brain’s use of landmarks to navigate by. So, we thought, what if we loaded our map with cultural landmarks, thereby encouraging people to navigate by, and thus notice these places?
To enable us to draw a map which would function in this way meant working at a particular scale, and practicality issues meant A2 was going to be the limiting paper size in providing a physically useful map. The end result of taking this approach would be that we would only be able to concentrate on the town centre.
So the decision was made to focus on this locale and have an inset of the wider Scarborough area.
It’s a compromise and it does admittedly provide some problems, particularly in creating trails to accompany the map, many of which which will not be limited to the town centre.
The alternative however would have been to show a wider area but lessen the effectiveness of the cognitive mapping theory. There are a couple of existing maps of Scarborough which could have been quickly adapted to highlight cultural venues but would this has affected the way people move around the town? Our research suggests not.
There are some benefits to our decision beyond the cognitive mapping theory – it has allowed us add a level of detail that’s totally unique to this map and as such is the first map of the town truly designed for pedestrians rather than cars. It has also resulted in (or so people are telling us) a visually striking and somewhat unique map that attracts attention just because of how it looks.
We see this printed map as just the start. It is experimental, a pilot almost, but it opens up a whole new approach to mapping Scarborough. There’s scope to continue to map areas of the town in this detail if desired, particularly as hand-held digital media become more widespread. Or until we can print bigger maps that don’t blow away in the wind.
At the risk of this looking like a shameless advert, I wanted to mention an exhibition we have opening on Friday in our tiny galley in Scarborough. Inspired by a 6-month surf trip along the coasts of France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco, the exhibition by Kathryn Welford includes paintings and a map/montage of sketches and ephemera that snakes around the gallery walls. Interpretation of place is one of the key themes of CHART Scarborough and this exhibition seemed to resonate with the project. Advert over, read and see more here.
(Miles Davis tune reference, in case you were wondering…)
Another peek at the collage side of the map which is now at the printers. First poem by John W Clarke, second by Kate Evans – a reference to The Beatles playing at the seafront Futurist theatre. The letter/number combinations you can see are map references that correspond to the other side of the publication.
It’s final proof day today, just gone through some minor changes to be made and then it’s sign-off tomorrow, then to the printers.
Above is a close-up of the proof showing a new level of detail with the building footprints after our surveying. no-one has mapped an area of Scarborough in this level of detail before, I imagine its pretty rare in general.
The colours are something we’d have loved to spend more time researching but have gone on our experience and some gut instinct. We think that having a suggestion of the building colours instinctively helps the map user figure out where they are on the map. We surveyed the town classifying buildings into a limited palette based on the building material or the frontage/signage if that was more dominant. The cultural landmarks are all magenta regardless to emphasise the cluster of cultural, heritage and arts venues and works in the town.
This pic also demonstrates the ephemeral nature of printed maps in that they’re out of date the minute they’re printed: The Premier Inn is 6 months off completion but will be a landmark when completed due to its corner/roundabout position and the prominence of the brand so we felt we had to label what is currently a building site.