The ethniCITY Photogrammetry Project (Dec. 2021 – Spring 2023) is funded by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), and is led by Dr. Jonathan Crisman, Assistant Professor of Public & Applied Humanities at the University of Arizona and Dr.Annette Kim, Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Spatial Analysis at the University of Southern California (USC). ACLS supports the creation and circulation of knowledge that advances understanding of humanity and human endeavors in the past, present, and future, with a view toward improving human experience.

Using novel linguistic landscape data collected by Dr. Kim in Los Angeles, CA, including millions of signs on businesses using Google Street View and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, ethniCITY hopes to map out cultural, ethnic, and linguistic landscapes based on the data, which is far more rich that the typical census data that is typically used for these purposes. An extension of these ideas are being brought and tested in the Tucson area, which began by exploring through the use of a hyper-focused photogrammetry scan of signage, spatial qualities, and cultural data of a single site in Tucson: the location of the Tucson Center for Black Life in the Two Boots BBQ Restaurant, located at 1830 S Park Avenue.

The goal is to test out alternative possibilities for extending this dataset, as well as sharing findings to begin building a cohort of colleagues by doing the following additional activities: AR/VR overlays of linguistic landscape data with additional partner community organizations, testing the same data capture process used in LA, experimenting with these tools in the classroom with a special convened course in Public & Applied Humanities, partner with LA public schools to develop curricula based on findings, organizing a design competition where we invite other scholars to test out use of the data, and to organize a symposium to share all of this and build community.