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A Deeper Map is a public art project that takes the form of a map-based mobile app. The project allows current residents of the lower Salt River Valley (home of today’s metro Phoenix area) to appreciate the ancient legacy that inspired our modern desert metropolis.
The project is designed to show current residents of the Valley where ancient irrigation and agriculture once existed where they now live, work or go to school.
We have paired contemporary maps with archaeological maps of the canal paths and conjectural renderings of ancient agricultural fields to inform the general public about the scope and sophistication of prehistoric agriculture here.
The central metaphor for the app is a modern map of the area that can be slid away, revealing a fixed prehistoric map below. The contemporary map is viewable in three modes: an opaque map (juxtaposing ancient and modern), a translucent map (allowing both the historic and prehistoric layers to be seen at once), and a satellite view (allowing viewers to locate individual buildings and features relative to ancient agriculture). By sliding the maps back and fourth, our audience can become more conscious of the how places of relevance to them have changed over time.
We have consulted with the tribal and archaeological communities to ensure that project is both culturally sensitive and accurate. We have also developed content to go alongside our maps, to provide viewers another way to appreciate the past, and it’s relevance to the present.
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