The New Spatial Landscape
The New Spatial Landscape: Artifacts from the Future
A place can be described by a set of coordinates—longitude, latitude, and altitude. It can also be described through stories—experiences and memories that are deeply rooted in a particular locale and are often intimately shaped by it. Ancient Greeks had two words for place, signifying these two different ways of thinking about it—“topos”and “choros.” Topos referred to location—objective, physical features of a place. Choros provided a holistic reference to a place as an experience, a trigger for memory and imagination. Topography, a science dating back to Aristotle, uses the concept of toposto represent place as a set of objective, physical coordinates. This is the context for most of today’s maps. Not surprisingly, our experience of a new place often starts with finding its topographical features as we locate it on a map. The chorosis usually hidden from us—that is until we develop it as we experience the place ourselves or learn of others’ experiences in it.