Witches and Trolls; Examining the Danish Folklore Storymap

The Witchhunter and Trollfinder HGIS map is an interactive map that displays the folklore collections of Evald Tang Kristensen on an interactive georeferenced map of Denmark. The purpose  of this map is to display the instances of folklore sightings recorded in the writings of Kristensen for the specific creatures mentioned on the map. As well this map includes the accompanying story of the creatures sighted in the stories with the place in order to create a sense of the mythical world  Denmark was portrayed as in these tales. This map has no direct instructions but rather the user is left to figure out how to use it on their own. On the side of the map are several layers with creature names and instances of mythical behaviours such as ” Witches and their Sport” and “Water Spirits”.  When one of the layers is turned on the map will indicate with varying sizes of bar graphs for symbology where the instance took place, and if a specific point is selected the accompanying folklore story will appear in Danish below the map. of this map is to display the instances of folklore sightings recorded in the writings of Kristensen for the specific creatures mentioned on the map. As well this map includes the accompanying story of the creatures sighted in the stories with the place in order to create a sense of the mythical world  Denmark was portrayed as in these tales. This map has no direct instructions but rather the user is left to figure out how to use it on their own. On the side of the map are several layers with creature names and instances of mythical behaviours such as ” Witches and their Sport” and “Water Spirits”.  When one of the layers is turned on the map will indicate with varying sizes of bar graphs for symbology where the instance took place, and if a specific point is selected the accompanying folklore story will appear in Danish below the map.

The Witch Hunter and Troll Finder map is excellent for visualizing  danish folklore and provides ample background information for each individual story on the map which is well georeferenced and layered upon modern topology. However, the symbology and layout of the map are confusing for the user; the symbols for each layer are all the same, meaning that one could not combine multiple sightings of creatures to see where they overlapped. As well, the stories are only provided in their original Danish as primary sources rather than having a translation into English available even though the map legend is in English. There is no coherent narrative present, rather all of the stories are left to be explored individually rather than as a whole collection. The only people to which this map could be of any use would be those who could read both English and Danish and who have an interest in the spatial world of Kristensen’s folklore. Overall this map falls short of the potential capabilities it contains; if the symbologies differed and if translations into a more commonly used language were available this map could be a useful and interesting tool for many people to explore and learn from.

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