World

12/07/2009

Primemapping (oercartografie)

Prime Mapping (project from '97, part of the Hotel New York project of Jeanne van Heeswijk) goes back to the source of cartography; it is the most naked form of recording positions. It notes an object's place without interpreting it. Normally maps build on other maps and are therefore reinterpretations rather than autonomous reflections.

But this is not the case with Prime Mapping; through the use of GPS  (which was launched by the US Army), it is possible to document where things are in a completely autonomous way. This report on four journeys has been recorded in Prime Mapping.


The maps provide no context, coastline or outline of Manhattan. They show only the absolute GPS position. On the basis of this
page shows the GPS satelites above a particular place



The journey to North Carolina passed through Baltimore because we were visiting friends there. We won a bear at a fair - two minutes past the 38th longitude - and on the next day we passed the '4000
miles from Rotterdam' boundary.

On the last day - and back on the 78th latitude - we encountered a friendly-looking ice cream parlour where the owner had knocked together a small extension so as to convert it into a drivethrough.

A hike through the Bronx began at the Burnside subway station, passed through Freeman Avenue and ended up at the Simpson Avenue station. From there I travelled in the subway from station to station, using this approach to record the position of several stations.

At Marmion Avenue I suddenly realized that I own the rights to this particular piece of cartographic data. The recording that this street corner is Iocated at that specific place belongs to me. Legally speaking cartography is a complicated matter: you can never own the copyright to a street corner or its position but you can protect the effort that you made to define it. Prime Mapping always belongs to you.