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Data Visualization in Digital Storytelling: The Map is Key

Speaker: Siobhan O'Flynn, University of Toronto. Moderator: Madeleine Clare Elish, MIT. Abstract: As digital storytelling becomes more complicated in the design of fragmented, non-linear experiences, the inclusion of dynamic maps that chart the narrative architecture and one's passage through it are emerging as a key tool for understanding spatial narratives. Interactive online projects such as HBO's Imagine, the online documentary Gaza/Sderot, and the website for Errol Morris' Standard Operating Procedure mark this important shift from more authorially controlled narrative structures (eg. branching tree and intertwined linear stories) to the increasing ceding of creative control to the audience. In providing a structural skeleton, these dynamic maps are integral to our experience of narrative integrity in our reassemblage of fragmented content into unique, coherent experiences, allowing us to mediate and sustain complex shifting relationships between narrative elements.

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July 13, 2010 11:33
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