Choosing to Survive

Picturing Tokyo

By Emily Gold Boutilier

The idea for the Mead’s current special exhibition arose, appropriately, from an undergraduate course. First taught in 2009, “Reinventing Tokyo: The Art, Literature and Politics of Japan’s Modern Capital” was conceived by three professors—Trent Maxey, Samuel Morse and Timothy Van Compernolle—as an interdisciplinary look at how Tokyo has changed over the past century and a half.  

Re-Inventing Tokyo: Japan’s Largest City in the Artistic Imagination

Tokyo is the political, cultural and economic center of Japan, the largest urban hub on the planet, holding 35 million people, fully one-fifth of Japan's population. The city has continually reinvented itself since its founding over 400 years ago, when a small fishing village became Edo, the castle headquarters of the Tokugawa shoguns.  Samuel C.

Cityscapes, An Online Discovery Tool for Urban and Cultural Studies

Cityscapes is a mapping framework for urban and cultural studies that integrates audiovisual media illustrating particular locations. Students studying neighborhoods in a city can use an online map to navigate through its streets and terrain, overlay historical maps and adjust their transparency, and create placemarks that link to photos, sound clips, videos, and textual commentary, creating a type of collaborative presentation.

Cityscapes Tokyo Animated

Submitted on Tuesday, 12/14/2010, at 10:34 AM
The Cityscapes Tokyo site, animating the available maps.

Building Historical Maps for Cityscapes, An Online Discovery Tool for Urban and Cultural Studies

Submitted on Wednesday, 12/15/2010, at 7:19 AM

For the past year and a half, my department, Academic Technology Services, has been working on a mapping project that we call Cityscapes. It's a “Web 2.0” tool to allow students to collaborate in their studies of urban neighborhoods, where geography should be an organizing theme. Think of Google Maps, then think of groups of students adding their own location markers and decorating them with photos, videos, and blogs.

The two sites we've created so far can be seen here:

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