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Map Digi Penfro Launched at Theatr Gwaun

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Map Digi Penfro is now available to view online and can be accessed at the following address: http://j.mp/mapdigipenfro.

A successful film screening and launch of the digital community mapping project Map Digi Penfro was held at Theatr Gwaun in Fishguard on Friday 13th September and attended by some sixty people.  The project is part of our Span Digidol project funded by the Arts Council of Wales and the Arwain Sir Benfro Leader programme. The project seeks to fuse arts and technology to deal with issues such as rural isolation, loneliness and community well-being.

The Span Deep Map

Map Digi Penfro seeks to map the places of Pembrokeshire from many and diverse perspectives by means of an interactive online map which continues to be open to contributions.  The map has been developed by Span Digidol’s Digital Champion Alan Cameron Wills, a retired computer programmer who now lives in Moylegrove.  Following on from his work on the Moylegrove History Map Alan was invited by SPAN to develop a mapping tool for the whole of Pembrokeshire.  The map was then tested over an intensive weekend at the beginning of July at Garn Fawr, an iron age Hill fort on the Strumble Head peninsula.   A range of experts including geologist Math Williams, archaeologist Ken Murphy, poet Mererid Hopwood and botanist Shani Lawrence as well as pupils from Goodwick Primary School and numerous local residents were brought together to map this unique place populating the map with images of flora and fauna, rock formations and ancient wells as well as stories of place and even poetry.

The resultant website provides a unique portal into Pen Caer that is as rich and varied as the place itself thus capturing the experience of being in a place and a dynamic alternative to a two-dimensional map.   At Theatr Gwaun attendees were shown a short film documenting the Garn Fawr weekend made by the Digidol project’s former Creative Technologist Ruth Jones.

They were then given a demonstration and opportunity to try the map out for themselves.  Attendees were also treated to a recitation by Span Volunteer Ian Dennis who wrote a poetic response to the Garn Fawr mapping weekend where he drove the minibus for the three days relaying participants from the ‘map room’ in St Nicholas village hall to the site of Garn Fawr itself,

“And so to the discussion as to what is art?

Is it just painting, performance, music?

Or can it not be the emotions evoked by a better understanding and more intense interface

With our environment?”

Ian’s response to this intensive engagement with place can be read in full on the map.

Dafydd Williams a contributor to the project said of the map, “It strengthen’s ideas of belonging.  Especially for young people in developing a sense of their environment; a habitat, home and people where they can feel safe.”

It is possible to continue contributing to the map and map users are warmly encouraged to do so.  The Garn Fawr mapping weekend was also partly funded by Pembrokeshire County Council with further assistance over the weekend from Margaret Morgan of Menter Iaith Sir Benfro and John Ewart from Planed’s Datris project.

SPAN Digidol will be hosting a further ‘hands on’ mapping day at Span Arts’ offices in Narberth on December 7th when we will seek to put Narberth on the map.  If you would like to take part in this event please get in touch with rowan@span-arts.org.uk

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