Final Presentation

My final presentation

Close up view:
The size of the circles correspond to the volume of water present at each water feature in relation to each other.


Enlarged detail of building fill


Mapping in Auckland

A recent exhibition in Auckland Museum is that of fleeting moments captured at various moments in the history of Auckland.

Of particular interest to me is the detailed diagram of motorway on-ramps:


The simple but effective use of colour draws attention to the map as well as highlights the essence of what the map is trying to convey.

Data Gathering

For the past few days, I have been feverishly gathering detailed data about 14 public water features around the Auckland CBD.

The water features are located:

  1. Corner of Wakefield St and Queen St
  2. Corridor between Lorne St and Kitchener St
  3. Water displays placed around the new Art Gallery on the corner of Wellesley St and Kitchener St
  4. Fountain in the centre of Albert Park
  5. Rocky arch by the intersection of Bowen Ave and Victoria St
  6. Corner of Federal St and Wellesley St
  7. Sky City Casino Foyer
  8. Corner of High St and Chancery St
  9. St Patricks Catholic Church
  10. Steps leading to St Patricks from Swanson St
  11. Corner of Gore St and Galway St
  12. Entrance to Britomart Transport Centre on Commerce St
  13. Mid of Restaurants along Hobson St and Customs St.

It was to my horror however, to find that the pH test strips lose colour almost instantaneously after drying. So was forced to do a second batch and seal then in individual plastic resealable bags.

Data Collecting

After several fretful days of watching with my camera posed to see how people directly interacted with public water features, it has become apparent we must have an allergy to open water. No one has touched the water in any way (unless you count when the wind blew hard enough the Albert Park fountain started aiming in my direction), although I have caught this look of longing from a man inches away from the Chancery Street water feature… it was interesting just how long he stared at the water never making physical contact with it…

Project proposal

I’m interested in the individual stories from people inhabiting the squares around a public water feature. The easiest way to do that is obviously to ask people to draw, but the problem arises in how to obtain interesting results without dictating and controlling what people draw as that would not be a personal story from them.

Difficulties facing an entirely diagrammaticality way of surveying;

1) What kind of question would prompt the most output from occupants;

2) Is there a need to display the information qualitatively, and how to do that;


Question #1:

Draw route taken to get to [public water feature] without using words.

I had initially been very doubtful of asking people to draw their route as I worried with the modern reliance on Google maps/GPS systems I would get a redraw of what they could remember at the time.


Question #2:

Draw the types of people you meet en-route to the [public water feature].


Question #3:

Draw most memorable moment in [public water feature].

The problem with this question is how to analyse the results, although it would provide the individual stories that make the “place”.


I have located a number of interesting public water features:


Mapping should not just be about the over simplified lines marking the large infrastructure and popularized ‘iconic’ locations. The identity of a “place” is composed of the stories about, constructed in, and relating to it. Stories are mostly either relating to the history of a place, or involving the people that inhabit it – “the street geometrically defined by urban planning is transformed into a space by walkers” ¹. While it is relatively easier to access the history of a place, the stories regarding a place are much harder to come by “because socialeconomic technocratization confines … (it) to the level of the family unit or the individual”. ¹

What is lost in the modern, technical method of mapping is the elements that define and individualises the place. Every single city can be and is expressed in the same lines, and look almost no different from each other aside from the size.

What I aim to explore in my mapping project is the individual stories around and about public water features in the Auckland CBD.

¹ De Certeau, M. (1984). Spatial Stories. From the Practice of Everyday Life. Berkley: University of California Press. 115-130

Interesting Mapping Methods

Almost abstract representation of areas of relation in areas of scientific research at Cambridge University

indicator/pointers by the way of physical strings

Emotional mapping: some very interesting diagrammatic ways “for visualising people’s reactions to the external world”
The Emotional Cartography is about “visualising people’s intimate biometric data and emotions using technology”. The maps that are generated are very interesting in that they overlay diagrammatic data with a easily recognisable street map, allowing users to relate to the map as well as displaying information in an easily communicative way.