About the Project
The Big City Map Project is a digital platform created by Emory University’s Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) in collaboration with Emory’s Stuart A. Rose Library and the creators of the independent comic, Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline, Dawud Anyabwile and Guy Sims. This platform serves as a prototype that explores the possibilities of GIS mapping and various immersive techniques to highlight the creative process and design elements associated with developing fictional worlds. We propose that such a tool is useful when teaching different texts, particularly speculative fiction, because it is often difficult to highlight all of the artistic and technical choices made by authors to create their fantasy worlds.
Our project focuses on the fictional setting of Big City, the location where several interrelated narratives created by Dawud Anyabwile and Guy Sims take place. All of the texts used to develop the Big City Universe are archived at Emory’s Stuart A. Rose Library as part of the Black Comix Collection.
In addition to discussing a story’s plot, character development, and other narrative devices in the classroom setting, this project introduces pathways to enter Big City, interrogate spacial relationships, and take an active role in the Brotherman Universe. Such a platform allows for people to not only read a text, but also experience the world through sensory perception provided by 360 panoramic views of Big City. This tool also provides a realistic GIS map where readers have the ability to map out narratives and provide annotations for specific locations as seen in the text. Through this process, individual experiences of the fantasy worlds like Brotherman become far more acute and allow readers to experience the distortion that exists between any fictional rendering and the real world.