Spatial visualization – Adding Another Dimension to the Humanities

Saturday, September 22, 2012, 1:00-2:30 p.m.

The analysis of geographic and spatial relationships can be put to good use in a variety of subject areas. From the representation of historic events on a rendered landscape, to the reimagining of a space, tools for these sorts of projects are a plentiful and easy to access. Come join us as we explore how tools like Sketchup, Floorplanner, and Google Earth can be used to enhance your scholarship and teaching. There will be plenty of time for discussion and experimentation with these various visualization tools.

Materials for the workshop:

Case Study #1 – ARTH320 Winter 2011 – Visualizing Japanese Theater [Carleton College]

Prof. Kathleen Ryor’s ARTH320 took on a group curatorial exercise based in virtual versions of the former Carleton art gallery. The virtual galleries were prefabricated for the class in Google (now Trimble) Sketchup and the students were asked to use images from the Asian Studies and Art History Visual Resources collection to create group exhibitions; in some cases, these were fantasy exhibitions as they included materials which could not be secured to show in the real Carleton art gallery. The students also made use of Lightup, a plugin for Sketchup, in order to realistically light their virtual spaces. Creating a virtual exhibition or a virtual space can be a rewarding research endeavor in terms of exploring spatial relationships, scale, and curatorial inquiry.

Discover the full view of the class 360º tours.

Team D’s Gallery

Click and drag with your mouse to navigate this gallery.

Team D: Ziliang Liu (2012), Thomas Sullivan (2011), Megan Williams (2011)

How an object was made for the project:

Case Study #2 – POSC352 Fall 2011 – Political Theory of Alexis de Tocqueville [Carleton College]

This is a research project undertaken by student Clara Labadie (’12) to investigate and represent the Women’s March on Versailles (1789). This project was created in Google Earth Pro, which is available for free by application. Prof. Barbara Allen led her students on a journey of visual and political inquiry, with extensive use of Google Earth at the IdeaLab, for this class.

Project references:

“Stanislas Maillard Describes the Women’s March to Versailles (5 October 1789),” “Women Testify Concerning Their Participation in the October Days,”
Levy, Darline Gay.  Women in Revolutionary Paris. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1980
Women’s Petition to the National Assembly
Rêquete des dames l’Assemblée Nationale (1789), translated by Karen Offen, reprinted in Les Femmes dans le Révolution Française 1789–1794, presentés par Albert Soboul, vol. 1 (Paris, 1982).

Case Study #3 – Spring 2010 – Art and Architecture in Venice [Macalester College]

This project was an opportunity for students to re-build an early modern ecclesiastical monument of great significance now lost to Venice. There were several components of the project that came together to form a compiled study. The goal was to understand better the urban landscape of early modern Venice, the appearance/construction of the now lost monument, as well as examine and reconstruct its original contents. The final product was a written examination of this no longer extant monument to accompany the digital reconstructed Google Sketch up monument.

Another successful example of spatial tool use for research, is Prof. Kathryn Steed’s recreation of the Roman Forum during different stages in history. Carleton’s alumni magazine, The Voice, included an article about this project in the fall 2011 issue.

Other Links


Virtual spaces and Recreations