"The history of the American cinema is not the history of its products any more than the history of railroads is the history of locomotives." Richard Maltby

"If geography is thought of as the study of places and the relationships between them, then space must be important, as it enables and limits the interaction between people and places. Almost everything that interests a historian - goods and services, capital and labor, ideas and innovations, fashions and epidemics - moves from one place to another; thus space enables and constrains their spread." Ian Gregory

Mapping Movies is a digital discovery environment in which users explore changing landscapes of social and spatial history by investigating the grounded locations and movements of moving pictures. The site promotes spatial thinking and historical inquiry about the relations between media access, public infrastructure, social geography, cultural networks, economic development, community building and collective memory.

To get going, click the plus sign next to the "Background" folder and choose a base map. Then open other folders and select layers of interest. Now select a tool, click on the map, and start exploring. The "hand" tool lets you drag the map, the "magnifying glass" lets you zoom by tapping the map or drawing a box around any detail you want to magnify, and the "i" lets you click any feature on the map to see information in its data table. You can change base maps and layers at any time to vary your perspective. For a global view, zoom out using the zoom bar. To learn about colors and symbols in active layers, click the "Legend" tab. Full instructions on using tools can be found in the "Help" tab and you can re-open this information panel via the "Information" tab.

Mapping Movies was pioneered in 2003 as a desktop Geographic Information System (GIS). In November 2013 it began migrating to a web-based GIS platform using the Environmental Response Management Application© (ERMA). Users familiar with the desktop version can expect further installments of that data to go online over time. Moving forward, Mapping Movies will tap the power of ERMA to extend and enhance the project's original commitment to mapping as a heuristic process of research and learning. The site seeks to create space for diverse users to interact with multiple information streams in an open-ended way rather than to produce finished maps or closed narratives. Designed to stimulate new research and encourage serendipitous discovery, the project will incorporate a wide mix of historical artifacts and geospatial data from both formal and vernacular sources. These materials will reflect the perspectives of multiple social locations and spatial experiences.

The default view for Mapping Movies displays New Hampshire but ERMA can map data and create bookmarked views from around the world. Users interested in contributing to the project by sharing memories, images or other artifacts or by conducting research to locate new venues and add new data to the map are invited to contact Jeff Klenotic or visit the project blog for more information.