GIS to Understand Dance, and Vice Versa

dancep27p2…one of the most unique applications of GIS I’ve seen…

“Researchers at Ohio State wanted to explore structures in the dance that were not apparent from watching the dance or might not even be known by the dancers and choreographer themselves. Starting with Forsythe’s ensemble dance One Flat Thing, reproduced as the research resource, a diverse team of collaborators from OSU’s Computer Science, Dance, Design, Philosophy, Geography, Statistics, and Architecture departments and schools sought to understand the complex structures of interaction in the dance through an array of creative tools, expressive animations, and information graphics. Among these, a team of geographers used ArcGIS software (through its ESRI university site license) to summarize and investigate the spatial patterns of dancers throughout the dance. The spatiotemporal data consisted of point records of each dancer’s location in three dimensions as well as a time stamp for each record. The entire dance involved 17 dancers, and about 16 minutes of activity was recorded. The minute detail of the records, down to centimeter precision and temporal increments of 40 milliseconds, resulted in a dataset of around half a million points.”