The semantics of the U.S. street map

poster / demo / art installation
  1. 1. Benjamin M Schmidt

    New York University

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This poster reappropriates tools of textual analysis into spatial humanities research by treating the road network of the United States as a single, massive text (of street names) read by navigators every day, and applying the increasingly common steps of representation learning to them; a high dimensional embedding using word2vec that captures forms of inter-relation between names, and a low dimensional re-embedding using UMAP for visualization.The resulting visualization opens a useful space between the spatial and textual humanities that looks to see how the evolving patterns of distant reading may be useful in thinking about the landscape as a text in the most literal way possible.

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Conference Info

In review

ADHO - 2020
"carrefours / intersections"

Hosted at Carleton University, Université d'Ottawa (University of Ottawa)

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

July 20, 2020 - July 25, 2020

475 works by 1078 authors indexed

Conference cancelled due to coronavirus. Online conference held at Data for this conference were initially prepared and cleaned by May Ning.

Conference website:


Series: ADHO (15)

Organizers: ADHO