PA2015: March Preview – Map Orkney Month – call for participants and info

What is Map Orkney Month?

Map Orkney Month is a large scale public mapping project running for the whole of March 2015. The idea is to make a new map of Orkney from people’s everyday journeys, places and ideas of heritage, a kind of island-wide archaeological survey. The result will be a collaborative map of usual geographies, daily journeys and new sites: a strategy of Contemporary Archaeology counter-mapping set to create new possibilities and encounters. Map Orkney Month aims to generate future heritage: maybe someone will follow the trail?

Who can be involved?

Anyone (as long as you promise to give the GPS back!). You just have to be in Orkney during March, although…

MoM encourages participants from outside Orkney. Imaginary journeys / sites can be emailed and included in the map, helping blur the distinction between conventional maps, survey and situated / imagined knowledge – the project is as much about the event and the process of mapping, as it is about the final map. This can include memory work. Perhaps you have been to Orkney before and remember some journeys and unusual places?

What do I have to do?

Carry a small GPS receiver for a day (I have several to lend out – turn it on first thing in the morning and off at night). This will automatically map your movements for the day and store them. You can walk, run, cycle, ferry, drive or fly within Orkney– it’s your call. You are encouraged to briefly record one place or site that is significant (or insignificant) to you in some way: location, written description, photos or video – it’s up to you. This will be added to the map.

You can use your own GPS if you have one (this would make things easier!). Just save your tracks / waypoints for the day and email me the .gpx files.

Alternatively, you can use your mobile to track your day using one of the numerous tracker apps- please save these as .gpx or .kml files and email.

What will happen to the results?

The new map of Orkney will be compiled with a list and location of everyone’s sites. This will be published in a leaflet available free in paper and PDF formats. I’m also open to suggestions and keen for MoM mappers to help guide the final stages – maybe you have other ideas (I can teach you some basic mapping & IT skills in return).

How can I take part?

Just email with suggested days within March 2015 (preferably within the first 3 weeks) when you can undertake your mapping. There will be a number of participants involved and days will have to be arranged where possible if you need to borrow a GPS. If you use your own GPS or mobile phone, then it’s really up to you! For those outside Orkney, just use your imagination during the month and email your tracks and site coordinates/description.


Dan Lee


Twitter: @infoPA2015 #MapOrkneyMonth