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Nil Tuzcu, “Spatial Storytelling in Urban Studies and History”

November 15, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Nil Tuzcu of the Harvard Kennedy School, Center for International Development, will be speaking at Northeastern University as part of GIS Day 2018.

Spatial storytelling enables multifaceted inquires in digital humanities and urban research, where complex and multilayered information is processed and presented with the help of spatial and visual technologies. Consequently, new topics such as embodied perception, user experience and interaction, and digital reconstruction are adopted and repurposed in this emerging field. In this talk, I will introduce three projects each taking a different approach to spatial storytelling and offer a comparative evaluation of their methodologies. The first project, Istanbul Urban Database, is an interactive mapping platform composed of digitized historical urban archives of Istanbul allowing users to explore spatio-temporal layers of Istanbul. The second project, I am Istanbul, is web-based storytelling platform in which users observe the flow of daily life in Istanbul throughout the 20th century via the lives of fictional characters. The final project, September 1955, is a virtual-reality documentary re-enacting the Istanbul Pogrom of 1955.


Nil Tuzcu is an information designer and creative technologist. Her work is at the intersection of data visualization, storytelling, user experience research, urbanism and the humanities. She currently works at the Harvard Kennedy School Center for International Development where she leads the design of the Atlas of Economic Complexity. Prior to that, she was a research associate at the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, DUSP. Her recent works explore data visualization in historical context through variety of media from interactive multimedia platforms to immersive experiences. She is the creator of Istanbul Urban Database, the most comprehensive multimedia archive of Istanbul.

Tuzcu’s talk will be followed by another talk at 4:30pm in the same location, “Visualizing geo/spatial phenomena: A spatial cognition perspective,” by Arzu Çöltekin of the University of Zurich. See here for more information.

This event is free and open to the public, but if you are not a member of the Northeastern community, please email Sarah Connell (sa.connell[at]northeastern[dot]edu) to RSVP.

Co-sponsored with the College of Arts, Media and Design, the Digital Scholarship Group, and NUVis.


November 15, 2018
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


102 West Village G


NULab: for Texts, Maps, and Networks
College of Arts, Media and Design
Digital Scholarship Group
Northeastern University Visualization Consortium (NUVis)