Spatial Storytelling Series 

The Spatial Storytelling Series is a series of events and workshops on spatial storytelling. These events support broader interaction between members of the CMU community who engage in any aspect of spatial storytelling. We hope to promote critical engagement with spatial data and concepts and learn how we can best support research and student learning by supporting the creation of spatial narratives. 

Spatial inquiry and analysis is of growing interest in multiple disciplines. At CMU, courses in geographic information systems (GIS) are taught in the Heinz and Dietrich Colleges and a course on Spatial History has been offered through the History Department. In addition to instruction, researchers in every College of CMU, from the College of Engineering to the Tepper School of Business, are leveraging spatial tools and techniques in their research. Although the application of many of these tools and techniques differ between disciplines, spatial storytelling crosses over disciplinary boundaries. Students and scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences can all utilize spatial narratives to tell stories and provide context to their research. To foster the use of spatial narratives across campus, the proposed series of events - open to everyone - will promote the use of digital storytelling methods and methodologies across disciplines.

The planned series of events will end in a competition and expo that will showcase student work in these cross disciplinary applications of digital storytelling. Our events focus on storytelling and aim to support students through the entire process from identifying a research problem, data collection, learning specific tools, and finally crafting a narrative. 


Spatial Storytelling Series Kick Off

  • November 1, 2018
  • 5 - 8 p.m.
  • Cohon University Center, Connan Room

University Libraries invites you to attend a kick-off event to introduce our Spatial Storytelling Series. This event will bring together spatial thinkers from CMU, who will speak to their work around creating and communicating spatial narratives. Our speakers were asked to engage critically with how they use spatial data or communicate stories through their use of or representations of space. 

Speakers include:

  • Kristen Kurland, Heinz College and School of Architecture                                             
  • Jennifer Keating, Dietrich College      
  • Chris Goranson, Heinz College                                                            
  • Illah Nourbakhsh, School of Computer Science                                                              
  • Shannon Knapp, Quantum Theater Group

The event will be held from 5 - 7 p.m. and will be followed by a reception with light refreshments. 

Workshop: Finding Stories in Data (WPRDC)

  • November 29, 2018
  • noon - 2:00 p.m.
  • Sorrells Library, The Den 

Workshop: Getting Started with Story Maps

  • January 31, 2019 
  • noon - 2:00 p.m.
  • Sorrells Library, The Den

Workshop: Telling Digital Stories

  • March 21, 2019
  • noon - 2:00 p.m.
  • Sorrells Library, The Den

Workshop: Competition Support/Office Hours

  • March 2, 2019
  • 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
  • Sorrells Library, The Den 

Spatial Storytelling Competition and Expo

  • April 18, 2019 
  • 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
  • location: tbd