Impossible Maps (DA4111.01)

Mimi Onuoha

Digital technologies have created new opportunities and resources for mapping, cartography, and geolocation-based visual investigation. They have also brought with them the need to consider issues concerning power, representation, and space.

In this course, students will learn the practical realities of working with spatial geographies in digital and web-based contexts. Time will also be devoted to investigating the conceptual questions that inform mapping and strategies for art-based counter-mapping. The course will address questions such as: What makes a good digital or web map? What do maps represent as visual information artifacts? What happens when we consider claims to space as topics for art-based investigations?

Students will gain exposure to a broad range of techniques in web and digital mapping, with the goal that they eventually focus on one or two. Throughout the course, studnets will be challenged to create maps (or map-based objects) that function as artful objects and challenge common conventions of the capabilities of maps. The class will be taught primarily in JavaScript, with assignments making use of git and Github. Other technologies taught will include mapshaper, Leaflet.js, Mapbox, and QGIS.

Registration: Please fill out this form by Friday, May 12 to be considered for the course. All students will be notified of their status no later than Wednesday, May 17. If you have questions, please email Robert Ransick at

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.
Credits: 4
W 8:00am - 11:40am
Maximum Enrollment: 12
This course is categorized as 4000, All courses, Digital Arts, Four Credit, Mimi Onuoha, Wednesday Mornings.