Dr. Nicholas Bauch will be our featured speaker at THATCamp OK. He teaches in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oklahoma and is Bauch_Avatar_07-15founding director of the Experimental Geography Studio.

Dr. Bauch works in various creative media (e.g. digital/web, photography, performance, sculpture) to express and advance thought in cultural geography.  He completed a publication in Stanford University Press’s Interactive Scholarly Works digital publishing initiative, a work titled Enchanting the Desert: A Pattern Language for the Production of Space (2016).  His second book is titled A Geography of Digestion: Biotechnology and the Kellogg Cereal Enterprise (2017, University of California Press). He has a Ph.D in Geography from UCLA, where specialized in cultural and historical geography.

Dr. Bauch’s talk is titled “Toward a Concentrated Data Paradigm in Digital Geo-Humanities.” The big data paradigm has structured web cartography (Leszczynski 2015) and much practice—both cartographic and not—in the digital humanities. Managing, channeling, and curating define the challenge of representation when working in this production model. As remote sensing and social media scripting continue to produce more raw material from which analyses can be made (Shelton et al. 2015; Stefanidis et al. 2013), it has indeed been extraordinarily important for digital geographers to theorize and strategize about how best to conduct meaningful research with these data (Thatcher et al. 2016; O’Sullivan & Unwin 2014).

To intentionally start with a small amount of data, therefore, seems to move opposite the trend. “Out of the box” digital cartographic tools have been released at a rapid pace, all of them in one way or another offering the ability to transform tabulated data into spatial pictures. Using digital tools to explore a small amount of data moves away from a Cartesian cartographic language as the primary representational platform, and toward an interactive experience that utilizes graphic spatial representations, augmenting what we think of as traditional maps. This move toward concentrated data, as I might call it, is what could be a feature characteristic of digital Geo-humanities, distinguishing it from other combinations of “digital” and “geography” that have existed since the dawn of GIS in the 1960s.


Leszczynski, Agnieszka. 2015. “Spatial Big Data and Anxieties of Control.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 33 (6):965-984.

O’Sullivan, David, and David Unwin. 2014. Geographic Information Analysis. Second ed. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.

Shelton, Taylor, Ate Poorthuis, and Matthew Zook. 2015. “Social Media and the City: Rethinking urban socio-spatial inequality using user-generated geographic information.” Landscape and Urban Planning 142:198-211.

Stefanidis, Anthony, Andrew Crooks, and Jacek Radzikowski. 2013. “Harvesting Ambient Geospatial Information from Social Media Feeds.” GeoJournal 78 (2):319-338.

Thatcher, Jim, David O’Sullivan, and Dillon Mahmoudi. 2016. “Data Colonialism through Accumulation by Dispossession: New metaphors for daily data.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 34 (6):990-1006.