Current Projects

Mapping Canadian Cinematographic Narratives

Mapping Complex Cinematographic Narrative Structures

In this project, we propose to explore the relationships between fictional spaces, real spaces and the Geoweb, by addressing the following question: how the conceptual and technological tools that are emerging from the geoweb can serve to improve our understanding of the spatial structures of fictional places and of their relationship with the referential places?

The first step proposed to reach this goal is to develop an ontology of cinematographic territories. This ontology appears to be critical for modeling in a systematic way those cinematographic territories which are complex, multiple, connoted, and subjective. This ontology can be envisioned as a necessary interface between cinematographic territories and the technological framework required to map them, as well as between the fictional and the referential world. The second step is to develop relevant spatial representations of these complex spatial units. This project is currently under development through the mapping of 15 contemporary Canadian films that take place mainly in Montreal.

To access the LIVE VERSION of the prototype, click here (or on the image below)


Mapping Canadian Cinematographic Narratives

In this earlier part of the project, 46 contemporary Canadian films have been mapped in a systematic way. This mapping endeavor had two main objectives:

1. To develop a cybercartographic application

This application enables the simultaneous representation of the places of the narration (geography), the connection between these places (geometry), as well as the temporal dimension inherent to storytelling.

To access the LIVE VERSION of this first version of the prototype click here (or on the image below)


The cybercartographic application is presenter in this paper: Caquard S. and Fiset J.P. (2013). How Can We Map Stories? A Cybercartographic Application for Narrative Cartography, The Journal of Maps (Available here or on demand).

The results are discussed here: Caquard S., and Naud D. (2013 Forthcoming). A Spatial Typology of Cinematographic Narratives. In Taylor D.R.F. and Lauriault T.P. (eds.), Developments in the Theory and Practice of Cybercartography: Applications in Indigenous Mapping (2nd edition), Elsevier.

2. To analyze the geographic structure of Canadian cinematographic places



On these cartograms the size of the countries (and of the provinces) is proportional to the number of time each country or province appears in the 46 films Canadian films studied. Canada is obviously the main location for Canadian films, furthermore for francophone Quebecois films which tend to unfold in Quebec and mainly in downtown Montreal.

For a full discussion of these results, see: Caquard S., Naud D. and Rodriguez R. (2012). Esquisses géographiques des récits cinématographiques canadiens contemporains, The Canadian Geographer 56(4): 508-530 (Available here or on demand).