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Dream Cartography. Mapping Dream Space and Content for an Exploratory Analysis of Dreams

The objective of Dream Cartography is to map dream content by developing new visualization methods and adapting existing ones as graphical means for an exploratory dream analysis. It encompasses documenting, modelling, and graphically depicting the dream space and other relevant psychological aspects of dreams in a meaningful, abstracted way.

The dream space is fundamentally different from the real space, especially because it is not pos-sible to consciously visit the place of the dream again. One way to address this setting issue is through data acquisition, and therefore means for getting a more accurate description of the dream experience and particularly of the dream setting are examined. Furthermore, a new type of Volunteered Geographical Information (VGI) is proposed: the fictional VGI (F-VGI). The social aspect of dreams is exploited, arguing that not only the dreamer, but also a third party may contribute to the fictional geography.

The dream setting is modelled, based on the systematic study of dream reports, on literature in dream psychology, geography and narratology, and on two empirical surveys. The first one is an online survey, with a convenience sample, answered by more than 300 persons and deals with general aspects of dream settings, such as what are elements, by which dreamers recognize a dream place. The second one is a paper-and-pencil survey, applied to an academic group com-posed of 30 cartography and geoinformation specialists. It contributes to the definition of the components of a setting. For example, one component is the dreamer’s familiarity with that place. This familiarity is used for building a straightforward model, which is the base for the place cookie diagram, visualized in form of concentric circles. In total, 26 dimensions are identified, which extensively characterize a setting. These dimensions are grouped into eight factors, which are: relation to geospace vs. role of space, society vs. morphology, individual vs. general exposure, and attention vs. environment. The obtained model is used to create a visual profile of the dream setting, named setting spider, in form of a radar chart with eight “legs”. Moreover, a similar model is built for a dream scene, resulting into the so-called event spider. The proposed profiles enable comparisons of different dream settings, or of different dreams, respectively. They can be used as uni- or multivariate point symbols on a thematic layer on top of a dream-land map. Additionally, the set-up of Web platform for mapping dreams is discussed and a functional prototype is implemented, featuring tools for data acquisition, for analyzing, graphical tools related to map creation and editing (e.g. map collage), and visualizations for different dream topics, such as picture frames for emotions or a graph-network for social interactions.

Finally, it is argued that the developed data models can be also adopted for real-life settings and events, therefore contributing to a better awareness of space in general, and acknowledging personal experiences as valuable for mapping real-life places. In a future continuation of this re-search, the application of such a dynamical model of the setting to real-life places could for ex-ample bring new insights for touristic places, or for spatial and settlement development in an urban environment.

https://www.research-collection.ethz.ch … 850/381774