What a long strange trip it’s been. We’ve been busy over the past several months completely redesigning and rebuilding PlacingLiterature.com. The site has been updated with a new look and advanced search and share features, making it easier for you to explore literary places. Take a gander, find a literary place near you and share it on Facebook and Twitter with #literaryroadtrip. Join the community.
-Andrew Bardin Williams, C0-Founder, Placing Literature
Placing Literature Launches New Website with Advanced Search, Share and Mobile Design Features
Crowdsourced website allows readers to explore nearly 3,000 locations in literature and continuously add additional places from the books they are reading
NEW HAVEN, CONN., Feb. 2, 2016—Placing Literature (PlacingLiterature.com) today launched a redesigned website that allows readers to browse, locate and visit sites of famous (and not so famous) scenes from global literature—from 221B Baker Street to Grand Forks High School. The opportunity to virtually explore literary places gives readers a greater understanding of the books they are reading while enhancing people’s appreciation of the places they live, work and play—plus, it’s just fun!
Placing Literature is the global clearinghouse for location-based literary information, collecting crowdsourced information about books and the locations where they take place—and displaying them all on an interactive world map. Since launching in June 2013, readers, educators, librarians and authors have mapped nearly 3,000 places from novels, short stories, poems and plays ranging from Shakespeare to Kerouac.
Uncovering Geographic Context Around Literature
PlacingLiterature.com has been redesigned for easier use and optimized for mobile devices, providing a seamless online platform for readers around the world to search, share and learn about the locations of their favorite pieces of literature.
Each place card on Placing Literature provides rich content about the book, the scene and the place where each plot point occurs. For example, clicking on Jackson’s Island near Hannibal, Missouri reveals where Huck Finn discovers Jim, a runaway slave, in Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It’s the same island first introduced in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, where Tom, Huck, and Joe Harper ran off for a few days. Just across the river is an icon marking Aunt Polly’s house where Tom Sawyer hoodwinks the other children into painting the fence for him. A few miles south stands the cave where Tom and Becky Thatcher get lost.
On each card, visitors can view a photo of the location, search Google and Wikipedia for more information on the place, purchase the book from a local bookstore, write a review on Goodreads, share the place on social media, report an error and even check in, indicating that they’ve been to that particular location.
Search Your Favorite Literary Places: Exploring the literature of a place or browsing the location from a particular author or book has never been easier. You can now search by location (Verona, Central Park, Castle Elsinore); by author (Cormac McCarthy, Bernat Metge, Robert Ludlum); or by book (Canterbury Tales, Anne of Green Gables, Love in the Time of Cholera). You can also browse collections of literary locations that have been curated by museums, libraries, publishers and cultural organizations around the world, including by the State Library of Queensland (Australia), St. Thomas Moore Chapel at Yale University, the Amistad Center, the Catalan Literary Heritage Network and the Mayor of Doonesbury. Featured authors such as Hugh Howey, Assaf Gavron, Matthew Thomas and Brian Freeman have also created maps of their own novels.
Share Places with the Community: Each literary place on the map has a unique URL that can be shared on Facebook and Twitter or dropped into an email or document. In addition, each new place is automatically tweeted from the @PlacingLit Twitter account with #literaryroadtrip for easy retweet, making it more likely that places you map go viral.
Explore Literature in the Real World: Readers and literary explorers are constantly on the go and need access to literary place information on mobile devices. The new PlacingLiterature.com is built with responsive design principles and is available on any device, including ereaders such as the Amazon Kindle and Samsung Nook. Readers can map a place from a novel they are currently reading or explore the literature of place they are visiting without leaving their screen.
“The redesign marks a major milestone in our mission to consolidate geo-tagged literary information in a single platform where readers, authors, librarians and researchers can search, view and share the places from their favorite pieces of literature,” said Andrew Williams, co-founder and CEO of Placing Literature. “Users from around the world have mapped fiction in dozens of languages on seven continents. We’re truly a global community of literary cartographers and explorers.”
About Placing Literature
Placing Literature (PlacingLiterature.com) is a crowdsourcing website that maps literary scenes that take place in real locations. Map a scene from your favorite novel or explore the literature of a place at PlacingLiterature.com. Follow us at Facebook.com/PlacingLiterature and twitter.com/PlacingLit. Placing Literature plans to launch additional collections of literary places and is putting out a request for data. Libraries, universities, cultural organizations and researchers should contact firstname.lastname@example.org if they have existing data or would like to work with Placing Literature to create content for local programming.
Andrew Bardin Williams