A recently launched map allows users to discover Edinburgh via its literary history, while an ongoing mapping project getting buzz this week delves into Shakespeare-era London. With these interactive maps, the world's literary capitals are just a click away.
*Edinburgh as seen by Scott and Stevenson:Launched late last month, "Lit Long: Edinburgh" incoporates nearly 550 novels, stories, memoirs and journals focusing on the 19th and early 20th centuries -- Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and Muriel Spark all appear -- but also tying in works by the likes of Alexander McCall Smith and Irvine Welsh. The map is the visual, interactive output of the Palimpsest project, created to mine texts such as these.
*Shakespeare's London: Professor Janelle Jenstad of the University of Victoria in Canada is behind the Map of Early Modern London (MoEML), which uses a 1560s woodcut map of London known as the "Agas" map and overlays it with references to people, places, topics and terms to provide a virtual visit of Shakespeare-era London. The map is getting a fresh round of buzz after being picked up by The Atlantic's CityLab this week.
Screenshot: "Lit Long: Edinburgh". (Photo: AFP)
*The France of Hugo and Flaubert: You may need to brush up on your French for this one, but "Cartographie littéraire de la France" by the Strasbourg bookstore Ivres de Livres covers the rich literary past of not just Paris but of the country as a whole. Follow Victor Hugo and Emile Zola through the streets of Paris, or see Normandy as Flaubert depicted it in "Madame Bovary."
*San Francisco, city of Beats: The San Francisco Chronicle has created "The Literary City," with references from "The Kite Runner," "The Joy Luck Club," "The Maltese Falcon" and "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" all matched to their location in the city, and a number of key Beat hangouts all given their due.
*An armchair globetrotter's guide: Placing Literature is a crowdsourced, international database created by an author, a geographer and an engineer. Searchable by city (Barcelona, Istanbul, Cairo, you name it) or by author, it launched in 2013 with 1,000 points and continues to grow thanks to user participation.