Cultural Mapping as Cultural Inquiry
This chapter presents an overview of key concepts covered in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book provides an introduction to the emerging interdisciplinary field of cultural mapping. It offers a range of interdisciplinary views that are international in scope. Cultural mapping, broadly conceived, promises new ways of describing, accounting for, and coming to terms with the cultural resources of communities and places. The evolution of cultural mapping intertwines academic and artistic research with policy, planning, and advocacy imperatives and contexts. Five main trajectories of cultural mapping practice or "use-contexts" have influenced its current methodological contours and practices: community empowerment and counter-mapping, cultural policy, municipal governance, mapping as artistic practice, and academic inquiry. The practice of cultural mapping with Indigenous peoples is generally dated to the 1960s in the Canadian and Alaskan Arctic. Mapping has long informed the work of artists, particularly those involved in public works and socially engaged art practices.