Mapping culture is placing representative elements of our cultural heritage on platforms that allow georeferencing. It is an easy, simple, and efficient way to become a promoter of your patrimony and contribute to increasing its value, popularity, and its touristic potential.
In the post called “Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month with Google Maps,” , published by @izzyp223 on Google’s platform LocalGuidesConnect.com, Izzy wote:
September 15 marked the start of Latinx Heritage Month in the United States. In honor of this occasion, we are spotlighting Maricha Martinez Sosa (@Marichams), a Local Guide who is passionate about finding new ways to connect others with Dominican culture.
Culture is mappable
One of the things that Maricha found while doing her PhD in cultural communication is that culture is mappable. And when it comes to the culture of her home country, the Dominican Republic, there’s a lot to appreciate and share. It is a vibrant mix of native Taíno, African, and Spanish influences. Maricha uses Google Maps as a powerful tool to document this cultural diversity through photos, reviews, videos, and 360 imagery. “It’s only when you know that something exists that you can appreciate it, treasure it, and protect it,” she says.
How Google Maps helps Maricha share and celebrate Dominican culture
Maricha travels to remote corners of her country, mapping authentic elements of culture and her own heritage on Google Maps. To show the hospitality of the people, she takes photos of business owners smiling. To map the gastronomical culture, she takes photos of a meal being prepared. Just recently, she shared a series of reviews detailing her experience with “Ruta del Casabe,” a unique tour that explores the past, present, and future of a staple Caribbean food, the casabe bread.
Learn more about Maricha’s story and see how she uses Google Maps to celebrate her culture and empower communities in the video below.
As I wrote on my post “Mapping culture: what it is, and why you should do it NOW!”: I think that almost everyone is very close to being an expert on this, although many may not even know it! See, every time we upload our content to the internet and activate the option to share information about the place where it was captured, we are “georeferencing.” While this is a technically complex term, it can be simplified to “connecting with a reference on the map.” As I published on Quemashago.com:
“By making posts about destinations with a cultural and touristic appeal, we contribute to putting valuable information on the map that can be seen not only by our close circles but also by the whole world. In doing so, we take advantage of the most successful advertising strategy of all time: the word of mouth. If the popular saying is right and “you only love what you know,” with each publication we make, we allow others to discover and reconnect with these local experiences, helping more people become familiar with them, and appreciate its charms. That’s how we are turned into promoters of our culture: favoring, validating, and consolidating its digital presence. With just a few clicks, we can become spokespersons of our heritage and defenders of its original bearers, contributing to the communication and enhancement of our cultural tourism”.
While mapping your culture, you will be able to connect with your roots, your territory, your people, and its charms. I am sure you will enjoy the process, and you have no idea of the impact your actions can have! Taking my case as an example: it is even possible to get the attention of very important brands like Google Maps.
Tell me: Do you dare to map your culture? I challenge you to do so! 🤩