Developing Interactive Map Apps for an Exhibition on the Topic ‘Fremdsein’: a Joint Endeavour by Students and Lecturers
Keywords: interdisciplinary workshops, Heimat, conceptualizing, Web mapping, personalized maps
Abstract. The Faculty of Information Management and Media (IMM) at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences received funding for a project called ‘Fremdsein 4.0’. It targeted experiences about educational migration through applying various media means. Two interdisciplinary workshops were conducted focussing on the German words ‘Fremdsein’ and ‘Heimat’ as main topics, which relate to feelings of “foreignness” or of being at home. Among other results, two Web map apps that help to reflect on the two terms were conceptualized and evolved over time to become part of an exhibition towards the end of the project. The paper starts with describing the various contexts in which the map apps are placed: maps used in exhibitions, a reflection on ‘Fremdsein’, interdisciplinary learning and conceptualizing, and finally Web mapping and personalized maps. Next, the process of the map app development is covered, which led to two robust browser-based offline apps named ‘Ideal Home Finder’ and ‘Emotional Foreignness Ranking’. The former app, based on the research of Hofstede et al., makes use of empirically derived dimensions on cultural differences. By answering six questions, the user can find out in which countries he/she might feel at home. The latter app, which more directly resulted from workshop outcomes and personal experiences of the participants, allows to come up with rankings of emotional “foreignness” for five previously selected countries. We discuss and conclude with reflections on the two workshops, the developed apps and the exhibition.