This weekend, I listened to a pretty great episode of This American Life: Mapping. In the first act, Ira Glass interviews Denis Wood, a cartographer, who creates “maps that are more like novels, trying to describe everyday life.”
Partway through the interview, Ira says of Wood’s work:
It’s interesting. Its taking the premise of a map, which is that it’s a way to describe the world, and then pointing it at things that we usually don’t think of as being mappable.
This immediately reminded me of an interview with Ira in the New York Times Magazine, in which he describes how the storytelling in TAL is different from traditional journalism:
We’re taking the tools of journalism and applying them to people whom you wouldn’t normally apply them to — people who aren’t famous, people who aren’t powerful, people just like you and me.
It seems that Ira really likes this idea of reframing context.