Workflow for the 3D Map

 This project appropriately began with an analogue edition of Ulysses. As the picture below reveals, I employed relatively low-tech methods to gather the data, or as Johanna Drucker would say, the capta.

First, I went through each chapter and marked every instance of an identifiable place change using post-it notes.

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As I worked my way through the text, deciding where an event occurs was not always straightforward. One question I came across early on in the capta collection process was, “When a person recounts a memory of an event that occurred somewhere other than where the character currently is, do I mark the place of the memory as the place the text occurs or do I continue to mark the location of the character?” In part for consistency and ease of mapping and in part because the context of the memory still occurs in the place where the character speaks or thinks the memory, I chose to record the place where the character currently is as opposed to the place to which the memory points.

My choice foregrounds a connection between the location of the characters’ bodies and the text. Given the novel’s interest in the interiority of the characters, stream-of-consciousness and metempsychosis, this might seem a strange choice.

The second step involved gathering word counts. For all but the last two chapters, I used the text files of the 1922 edition released by the Modernist Versions Project.

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For the last two files, which are not yet on the site, I used the edition posted the Internet Archive which is “based on pre-1923 print editions” (Internet Archive).

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I used the search function to find the phrases that marked the beginning and endings of a passage located in a given region, copy and pasted the text into TextWrangler, and noted the word count. I also noted the word count for the entire chapter. When I added the number of words from all the chapters in Ulysses, this provided the word count.

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Determining the word count for passages proved difficult for the portions of the novel where characters are in transit. Hence, another question that followed me through the novel was how to mark passages in-transit or how do I locate movement? Kiberd’s work on the importance of walking in Ulysses highlighted this question as a significant problem for our geotemporal representation of the text. Kiberd attributes the importance of movement particularly to Bloom noting that “Bloom is at his most vital in the world of process, in motion between two fixed points. A committed wanderer, he knows that movement is better than stasis” (82). I grappled with this problem for a while until I capitulated to practicality. For the purposes of raising and lowering regions on the tactile map, I grouped destination points on a walk or drive. When a character did more than simply pass through an area, I marked that area as a distinct location. For example, in Hades, Bloom travels from Grand Canal St. to St. Mark’s to the railway, Queen’s theatre, past Farrell’s statue, through Rutland Square and eventually to Prospect. Instead of trying to decide where along this route each word occurs, I grouped the destinations together.

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The ratios were created by dividing the number of words located in a given place (or located in-transit) by the total word count of the text, which was calculated by adding up the total word count from the chapters we from which selected the word counts. Page numbers are omitted from the word count of both data sets. The resulting data model contained information for the Location, Chapter, Chapter Word Count, Location Word Count, Total Word Count, and Ratio for each segment of text locatable in a given area.

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Alex used Mudbox to create the 3D map. First, he selected a plane, in Mudbox he superimposed the image of the 1925 map from UVic’s special collections onto the plane and engraved the image into the plane so that exhibit goers could feel the streets and grooves in the plane. Using the ratios in the data model, he then raised the map proportionally according to the percentage of words spent in a given location. Alex provides a more in-depth explanation of the modelling process here.

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