Areas of Study
GIS, Science & Technology Studies, Social, Cultural and Economic Geography
I specialize in geographic information systems (GIS) and cultural, social, and economic geography. I am especially interested in the way our experience of the world is informed by visuality, including the visual’s material and embodied dimensions, as well as how we communicate our geographic experience through visual mediums such as maps and popular media. To explore these relationships, my dissertation research in Los Angeles, California focuses on understanding the spatial distribution of on-location filming (filming that occurs away from the studio set). In particular, I have conducted interviews and GPS-tracked ride-alongs with location scouts, production designers, and homeowners to understand the scopic regimes that these individuals bring to the scouting process, the socio-technical arrangements that make location filming possible, and how these arrangements affect the people who live in Los Angeles. Key to my findings is that the contemporary location production process is underpinned by a mobile and embodied gaze captured in the photographs scouts take of potential film locations and disseminate to decision makers via information communication technologies.
As the technological intern for the City of Tucson IT-GIS group I have been able to put my interest in visualization into practice by designing websites and interactive web maps that communicate the work being done by the City and enhance citizens’ experience of where they live. One popular project that I’ve worked on is the Murals of Tucson web map, which allows users to find murals in the downtown area either by searching the map or using thumbnail images of the murals they want to see. I think people like the map because we often see this artwork as we’re driving around but often don’t have time to stop and think about it. The map allows people to dig into the stories behind the murals and relate them to their own spatial trajectories in the city.
Sharp, Laura and Chris Lukinbeal. 2015. Film Geography: A Review and Prospectus. In, Mediated Geographies/Geographies of Media, Science and Business Media series, International Handbooks of Human Geography. Edited by, Susan Mains, Julie Cupples, and Chris Lukinbeal. Sage.
Lukinbeal, Chris and Laura Sharp. 2015. Performing America’s Toughest Sheriff: Media as Practice in Joe Arpaio’s Old West. Geojournal 80(6): 881-892.
Sharp, Laura and Chris Lukinbeal. 2014. Film Geography. In Wiley-AAG International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology. New York: Wiley Press. Forthcoming.
Lukinbeal, Chris and Laura Sharp. 2014. Geography and Film. In Oxford Bibliographies in Geography. Ed. Barney Warf. New York: Oxford University Press.
Sharp, Laura. 2014. Rev. of Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture, by Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Greene. Journal of Consumer Culture. Forthcoming.
Crampton, Jeremy W., Jay Bowen, Daniel Cockayne, Brittany Cook, Eric Nost, Lindsay Shade, Laura Sharp, and Malene Jacobson. 2013. Whose geography? Which publics? Dialogues in Human Geography 73(3): 73-76.
Web Apps Designed for the City of Tucson
Ph.D. Geography (Expected Dec. 2018), The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
M.A., Geography (2013), University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
B.G.S., Geography (2009), University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
GEOG 150B: Human Geography and Global Systems
GEOG 160: Geography of the Non-Western World
GEOG 222: Cities of the World
GEOG 305: Geography of the Former Soviet Union
GEOG 150C: Environment and Society
GEOG 205: Places in the Media
GEOG 417: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems