Tag Archives: cost-surface analysis

Illustration Maps and Stories

Bartleby x Cost-Surface Analysis

I found the ‘GIS and Literary History’ reading by Patricia Murrieta-Flores et al very interesting. The concepts of Cost-Surface Analysis and friction maps were new to me. Below is a friction map illustration of ‘Bartleby, the Scrivener’ by Herman Melville. This depicts the period toward the end of the story where Bartleby ceases to move or comply with requests. The space Bartleby occupies is represented by his answer to all requests, “I would prefer not to.”

An animation over time might show the squares around Bartleby changing hue from a green that indicates positive inducement to movement, to red indicating high friction / low incentive to action. An alternate reading might be that the state of inaction changes from high friction to most desirable, which could be shown by the space Bartleby himself occupies changing from red to green*.

*There are certain deuteranopia- and protanopia-colorblind-friendly combinations of red and green hues, though a different divergent color scheme might be clearer. For black and white reproduction, this could be represented by a heat map showing changes in lightness and/or an increasingly dense pattern.

Image caption: Friction map showing Bartleby at desk
Photos from Unsplash: wood by rawpixel, brick by Joshua Hoehne


Just for fun: The Stranger x Weather Mapping Symbols

I’m sure I’m not the first person to make this illustration of The Stranger by Albert Camus, but it entertains me. As a side note, weather mapping could certainly do with better ways to show uncertainty.

Also just for fun: The Yellow Wallpaper x Floor Plan

I didn’t have a chance to finish this illustration. I’d intended to set the below map showing the bedroom in Charlotte Perkins Gillman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ into a house floor plan to accentuate the severe confinement the narrator of that story experienced. This illustration depicts the very end of the story, “Now why should that man have fainted? But he did, and right across my path by the wall, so that I had to creep over him every time!”

(Apologies for the repeat posting. I had trouble getting images to render correctly in the post and didn’t realize I wasn’t in draft mode.)