Global Madison: Paths To Change

"It is a sense of place, an understanding of 'its character', which can only be constructed by linking that place to places beyond... What we need, it seems to me, is a global sense of the local, a global sense of place."
—Doreen Massey

On wide screens, some photos may appear cropped at the bottom. In this situation, reduce your browser's width for better viewing. This website was designed for modern mobile and desktop browsers; you may encounter significant problems on older browsers that do not fully support HTML5 (e.g. IE<10, Safari<6).

The second button below will take you to the map to begin your journey, showing the route from the UW campus to the first landmark. If you are not starting from campus, you can click the first button to get Google Maps directions from your current location to the first landmark.

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About This Project

Madison's East Isthmus: Paths to Change mobile learning module was created for the Introduction to International Studies (IS101) course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison by Spring 2014 Mobile Cartography Seminar participants Brian Davidson, Julia Janicki, Vanessa Knoppe-Wetzel, Fei Ma, Rashauna Mead, Chelsea Nestel, Caroline Rose, Carl Sack, and Guiming Zhang under the direction of Professor Robert Roth, with the cooperation of International Studies Professor Stephen Young and Teaching Assistant Mario Bruzzone. Narration was written and performed by Stephen Young. Updates were performed 2014-2015 by Carl Sack; current version is 1.1. All site content is licensed Creative Commons 3.0 unless otherwise noted below. Questions or suggestions about the project should be directed to Stephen Young ( and Robert Roth (

Map Tiles

Map tiles are Mapbox "Outdoors" Tileset. Copyright Mapbox; data copyright OpenStreetMap Contributors.

Slideshow Images

Wisconsin Historical Society Archive (copyrighted, used with permission):

Carl Sack (2014, Creative Commons licensed):


Icon Credits

Map icons (Labor, Transportation, Power, Housing): Julia Janicki

The below icons were acquired from The Noun Project and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution.



For PDF instructions, click here.

  1. Tour narration
  2. Navigating to landmarks
  3. Slideshow prompts
  4. Lost?
  5. Report a problem

Navigating to landmarks

When you enter the map, you will see a red route line leading you to the first landmark. On a mobile device, you may spread two fingers apart to zoom in to see more detail on the map; on a full-sized device, click or tap the + or - icons to zoom in or out. Follow the red route line to navigate to the landmark. To see your current location on a mobile device, tap the findme icon (not visible on desktop view). This will activate a blue GPS dot at your location the map. To save your battery, the GPS dot will disappear after ten seconds, but you may reactivate it at any time. Pay attention to your surroundings and use caution in locations marked with the alert icon, which you may click or tap to see a description of the hazard. Your destination is marked with a square red icon. After the first landmark, prior landmarks will be shown in gray. You can zoom directly to a landmark by choosing that landmark in the Landmarks menu in the menu bar. Only landmarks that are currently active or that you visited previously will appear in the Landmarks menu. Once you arrive, click or tap the landmark's icon. This will open that landmark's narration.

Landmark narrations

When you click on a landmark icon, you are presented with text box containing an image of the landmark and a brief overview of that landmark. Each landmark on the guided tour has a similar background description providing important context for understanding the place and responding to the slideshow prompts. Click Read AloudRead Text Aloud to listen to an audio recording of the background description. Click the next > and < previous buttons to advance or review the text. When you have reached the end of the narration, clicking the next > button or the X in the top-right corner will close the narration window and open the slideshow prompts. You may reactivate the narration window at any time by clicking the Text menu button.

Slideshow prompts

When the narration window closes after its first viewing for a given landmark, a slideshow with images and question prompts will open automatically. For each landmark, there are three thematic slides: Interdependencies, Inequalities, and Alternatives. Each prompt includes a pair of images comparing the landmark 'then' and 'now.' Use the slider between the images to compare the pair of images by swiping the slider back and forth. Use the white arrow buttons to change the slide. As you think about each prompt, take notes and photographs to support your visual essay. The final slide for each landmark is a button allowing you to Proceed to the Next Site, which then maps your route to the next location on the guided tour.


On a mobile device, you can always see your location by clicking the findme icon. If at any time you get disoriented navigating the Isthmus, click on one of the following links to navigate to the landmark using Google Maps:

Report a problem

If you notice a bug or other issue, please e-mail a brief description to

Text for audio




Click here for a PDF of the assignment

Once you’ve completed the walking tour, you need to arrange the notes and images you collected into a coherent, well-organized narrative. The main purpose of the photo essay is to explain how and why Madison’s east isthmus has been transformed through its interconnections with other places. As such, you need to demonstrate that you know what it means to develop “a global sense of place” (see the assigned article by Massey). A complete paper should be 2000 words long – approximately 6 pages, size 12 font, 1.5 spaced – and must contain the following:

Below are some questions to help you organize your essay into different subsections. Please note that these prompts are only meant to guide your essay – you don’t have to follow this outline exactly. However, your paper must have some sort of logical structure and you might find it useful to use 2 or 3 subheadings.

  1. What is this essay about? (approx. 200 words)
    The introduction should provide a snapshot of the essay. You may want to start with a short vignette to draw the reader in. You should also briefly set out the structure of the essay.
  2. What have been some of the key global transformations that have shaped Madison over the last 150 years or so? (400 words)
    The next section should include a brief overview of changing global interdependencies. In particular, you may want to discuss the transition from Fordist to Post-Fordist production systems and contextualize this in relation to global patterns of industrialization/de-industrialization.
  3. How are these changes reflected in the landscape of Madison’s East Isthmus? (650 words)
    This section should provide some specific examples of how the global restructuring described above is “sedimented” in landscape of the east isthmus. This would probably be a good place to add your photos.
  4. How are changes in Madison are interrelated with changes in other parts of the world? (400 words)
    Relational analysis involves thinking in terms of connections across space. You need to tell the reader how the changes that you’ve described in Madison are linked to changing cultural, political and economic geographies in other parts of the world. Obviously, there are lots of places you could talk about, so identify one or two examples that you find particularly compelling.
  5. What does this tell us about how we conceptualize globalization? (350 words)
    In the final section, you need to situate your discussion of Madison in terms of broader debates about how we should conceptualize and study globalization. What are the main points you’ve taken from the experience? What implications does this have for you as an IS Major and as a “global citizen”? Do you think it will change the way you read the landscape in your hometown [be that in Beloit, Beijing or Berlin]?

Deadline: Monday, May 4