Lower Ninth Ward flooding

The flooding of the Lower Ninth Ward explained and performed on a map by climatologist Barry Keim from Louisiana State University on his Hurricane Katrina & Environmental Tour of Metropolitan New Orleans at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) 2018. Many thanks to Barry for geographical insights and stories told of life and death in New Orleans now and then.

The clip was recorded at the Bayou Bienvenue Wetland Platform, located at the end of Caffin Avenue at the intersection with Florida Ave. The spot is worth visiting as it offers further information on the ecology of the Main Outfall Canal situated behind the Lower Ninth Ward.

For information on why the Katrina disaster was man made and not ‘natural’, see the grassroots website levee.org.

As an urban geographer and ethnographer, I could not resist to film some of the more performative aspects of the tour and the ways geographers talk about and listen to how cities are transformed over time. Using maps is of course just one geographical thing to do on a field trip. Other spatial practices and gestures of interest: pointing at landscape features, taking pictures, taking notes, searching for shadow, walking and talking, categorising spaces, moving and looking around, group behaviour (such as getting on and off the bus), personal (geographical) conversations (e.g. ‘where are you based’) and many more.

(Recorded on 11 April 2018. Video published courtesy of Barry Kim)

Last stroll around Red Road

A true digital mess at the site of the former highrise estate Red Road, Glasgow. Whilst Google Maps provides for 2D and 3D views of the demolition site, Google Street View still features images of the tower blocks. It is virtually the last chance for a stroll around the estate. (Recorded on 4 September 2017)

Guerilla Public Service

A short version of the story
Richard Ankrom is an artist and sign painter. One day he was driving north on the 110 freeway in LA. He missed the exit to the Interstate 5 North he wanted to take and got lost. He later understood that the I-5 exit was not indicated on the green overhead sign. In 2001 he crafted the I-5 North sign himself. With a group of friends he assembled the sign at the place where it supposed to be.

The nice part of the story
The company running the freeway found out about the sign from an article in a local newspaper. Ankrom had hoped he could get his sign back after they took it down; he wanted to hang it in an art gallery. However, the company didn’t take the sign down. The guerrilla sign had passed the inspection.

The full story and an update on the replacement of the sign with improvements in 2009.