“Not a book about maps in the literal sense, HyperCities describes the humanist project of participating and listening that transforms mapping into an ethical undertaking – thick mapping.”
Layering the process of mapping with the study of humanities, “thick mapping” is a process that presents a vivid and extensive view of human culture, from the history to the future. It consists all possible aspects that human science concerns on an interactive and story-telling based platform – a digital map. Utilizing digital technology, such as GPS and Google Map, “thick mapping” keeps its information constantly participatory and updating, which makes it more engaging and powerful than the traditional idea of mapping. In HyperCities, the authors propose “thick mapping” as a new medium for us to learn about ourselves, namely a method of “digital humanities”, in which visualizations and connections of our identifications, geographically and socially, are presented.
Essentially doing studies of humanities, music historians would definitely benefit from the idea of “thick mapping” and “digital humanities”. First, importing knowledge becomes engaging, as a result of the various interactive designs of digital interfaces. Also, various scattered information involved in a music historical topic could be systematically packed and arranged in a single story-telling mapping process, which makes studying music history relatively easier yet more comprehensive and inspiring. On the other hand, these models serve as an efficient and engaging way for musicologists to export their expertise to the audience. Between writing a long research paper and creating an interactive digital map that tells all the information he/she wants to share, who would not like to try the latter?