Lauriault, Tracey P. and Gitte Lindgaard, 2009, Scented Cybercartography: Exploring Possibilities. May 30 s44 Urban Geography VIII – Cultural Session Canadian Association of Geographers portion of the SSHCR Congress.
Olfactory cartography is part of the emerging discipline of cybercartography (Taylor 2003), a transdisciplinary endeavour that investigates, among other things, the integration of multimedia, multi-sensory, and multimodal data into digital atlases and maps. The physiology and psychology of the olfactory system, its special characteristics, its influence on performance and memory, and some of the issues that make the study of olfaction difficult are addressed. Characterizing, classifying, and labeling scents is problematic, and it is recommended that methods from other communities of practice be adopted and adapted by cartographers. Literature from a wide range of disciplines, including olfactory geography, is reviewed, and a number of innovative ideas are provided. In addition, olfactory applications in different areas such as marketing, art installations, film, and virtual environments are described, as are a range of currently available olfactory diffusion devices. These, however, have not been explored in a cartographic context, nor have they undergone usability testing. We conclude that it is too early to provide cartographic guidelines and methods but that scented applications, odour diffusion technologies, and olfactory data collection methods provide knowledge that can be applied toward developing a scented cartography.