Setting is a vital component in any work of literature- from Charles Dickens’s London to Mark Twain’s Hannibal to Jack Kerouac’s Lowell. Putting a story in the context of a real physical location gives stories context, placing readers in a familiar locale as the story unfolds around them.
Placing Literature is an online database of places from scenes in literature- sourced and plotted by readers and researchers. Created by an author, a geographer and an engineer, the goal of Placing Literature is to connect readers to the places they are reading about, highlighting the meanings, values and emotions attached to a space. Particularly, in this case, the meanings and values created by the author and experienced by the reader.
Placing Literature launched in June 2013 at the International Arts and Ideas Festival in New Haven, Conn., with more than 1,000 data points. Literary scenes continue to be plotted by readers for readers, using the power of crowdsourcing to create respected reference material for future research.