Mapping Weird Stuff


Guide Psychogéographique de OWU (2009, med res jpg)


Mapping Weird Stuff is a course offered as part of the OWjL summer camp at Ohio Wesleyan.

OWjL (Ohio Wesleyan University Junior League of Columbus) is a residential summer camp program of challenge and enrichment for central Ohio’s gifted and talented middle school students currently in grades 6-8.

This blog contains material and resources reviewed as part of the course.  The course work culminated in a sensory & psychogeography map of the OWU campus.  As per above.

A printable 11″ x 17″ (300dpi 1.4mb) PDF of the map is here.


First Meeting:

I Talk: Your Kindly Instructor

You Talk: Who are you?

I Talk You Draw: Your mental maps of the OWU campus area

  • mental map: “A map which represents the perceptions and knowledge a person has of an area. May be a map in the mind.” (source)
  • mental map vocabulary

What you mapped:

  • purposeful paths?
  • what maps are supposed to show?
  • lots of other stuff is very important … yet seldom gets mapped


What’s Weird? And What’s Mapping Weird Stuff?

Weird: Of a strikingly odd or unusual character; strange, uncanny, fantastic, bizarre

  • Some stuff is easy to map (roads, boundaries) and other stuff is not (emotions, smells)
  • Some stuff we expect to see on maps but other stuff we don’t (so we don’t map it)
  • Weird = those things we don’t usually see mapped, or that are difficult to map

Atlas of Boylan Heights: Denis Wood



This class: a mix of

  • geography
  • cartography (mapping)
  • psychology (environmental psychology)
  • urban planning
  • art
  • environmental studies

Up next:


What’s a (conventional) Map?



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