Research

Maps have incredible transformative powers, particularly in terms of spatial analysis, visualisation and in decision-making. As maps have become ever-more ubiquitous in both our professional and private lives, have the new tools and approaches changed the way we respond to and engage with spatial data?

Many disciplines are increasingly leveraging mapping within their own toolkits and practice, though most have over-looked the rich theoretical and historical basis of the discipline of cartography, creating solutions they believe to be new and unique when in fact previous examples can often be found originating decades earlier. Such is the result of the sound-bite and out-sourced knowledge of the modern world, where people happily don the suit of other disciplines, but are not interested in it’s historical and theoretical depths—and therefore fail to realise the real potential.

Is our relationship with mapping different now? To what extent is this a reflection of technology or new forms of representation and graphic communication? Are we seeing the evolution of new paradigms for the spatial and projective disciplines that realise a change for mapping within transdisciplinary modes of practice? These are questions that inform his personal research.

Estranged Space

Originally founded in 2014 by Dr Mathew Emmett, David Littlefield and Jason Clark as a research vehicle to examine spaces which are behind, between, beneath or otherwise separated from normative spaces—those zones which are there, but forgotten, neglected or simply subservient—the liminal, the beyond, the uncanny, the other, the elsewhere, the estranged.

Today, Estranged Space’s work is (re)defined by the joint expertise of Jason Clark and Dr Mathew Emmett, bringing together the disciplines of cartography, graphic communication, architecture, art and multimedia performance in the exploration, creation and understanding of space. We work with a range of clients—site owners, developers, institutions—all organisations who wish to subject spaces to closer examination, understanding and (re)interpretation. Our areas of interest include: mapping and perception, installation and projection, heritage and authenticity, and generative design and interaction.

We deploy a wide range of tools and techniques to explore the notions of perception, (re)interpretation, narrative, place and non-place. The practice has particular experience in site-responsive interventions in spaces which are contested, unsettling, hidden, lost, peripheral or displaced, but now extends this applied learning and research across a wider gamut that also concerns itself with the agency of mapping, the topologies of space, or the real and yet imagined worlds—the near and the elsewhere. Through spatial practice and interventions, we tell stories about places and spaces, encouraging new ways of understanding and reading space. We look for narratives within spaces and amplify them, re-present and re-frame them.

We embrace all formats of visual and audio communication, both established and new technologies and techniques. We also actively seek out new ways of applying technologies. We work as consultants, artists and designers across a range of experiences. Process is key to outcomes, and we reveal that through our work, which materialises through articles, insight, engagement, facilitation, workshops, teaching, strategic thinking, design systems and spatial research. Our practice is inherently collaborative, multi-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and research-focused.

kepler.gl

Uber—who would thought—have released kepler.gl, an open-source geospatial toolbox. It’s designed to provide the easiest way of visualising geospatial data and gaining useful insights.

Cartograms

Not to be confused with Mapbox’s nonsensical hijacking of the term for creating colour styles, cartograms are extraordinary map types. The relaunch of Worldmapper in April 2018 celebrates this form of mapping.

Google Earth

When it was first released, 16 years ago, it was amazing being able to travel around the globe and look at anywhere in such remarkable detail… and it still is today!

National Geographic

Since the very first issue in 1888, the National Geographic magazine has been the benchmark for quality researched articles supported by well-crafted graphics.

South African Game Reserve

In July, a land owner in South Africa commissioned Jason to design and produce a map that depicted their 27,000 ha game reserve.

Goldsmiths University

In June, Goldsmiths, University of London, commissioned Jason to create a new campus map and sign artwork

Square Up Mural

In August, Square Up contacted Jason for ideas to decorate a reception wall for a new London HQ.

Heightfields

There is always an aspect of work that emerges out of error, experimentation and/or serendipity.

Bay Area Bike Share

Leading wayfinding practitioners, City ID, asked Jason to help develop the cartography for the Bay Area Bike Share project in San Francisco, USA.

Big Data Visualisation

Visualisations of ‘big data’ have been commonplace over the last few years, though their is still much debate to be had about the value of many of them beyond their visually interesting presentation.

A Monitor for a Cartographer?

Screen estate and colour are very important to a cartographer. Maps can be any size from A6 to more than 5m×5m square.

Ham & Petersham

Nick Avery Design commissioned Jason to produce a supporting map for a book designed for self-publishing author, Vanessa Fison.

An Open-source World

Over the last few years we have seen the release of numerous mapping platforms/frameworks to allow the manipulation and representation of open-source mapping and other spatial data.

OS Maps – the App

Recently, the Ordnance Survey (OS) updated an app for both mobile and desktop devices that utilises their 1:25,000 Explorer and 1:50,000 Landranger maps—classic OS mapping at it’s best.

Swiss National Mapping

Swiss topography has long been regarded as the epitome of this form of mapping, often characterised by the iconic hill shading techniques of the late Eduard Imhof, professor of cartography at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Derby Riverside

derby01_lrg

Engaged by Derby City Council (DCC) in August 2016, Jason has designed and produced the mapping for four new wayfinding signs.

Relief Shading, Part I

As we seem to be moving in to presentational modes where 3D (mapping) is becoming ever more commonplace, enabled by software and hardware advances, it is relevant to look back

Walks of Churchill Guide

In August, Jason was commissioned by Nick Avery Design to design and produce two maps to be used in a walking tour guide on Winston Churchill.