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Artist Jen Urso follows centuries of Scottsdale water use with an interactive map

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Wednesday, November 9, 2022 - 11:18am
Updated: Wednesday, November 9, 2022 - 12:09pm

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a water map by jen urso
Jen Urso
A map showing layers of water in Scottsdale by year. Part of Jen Urso's "What Grows Here" project.

Each year, Canal Convergence takes over the downtown Scottsdale waterfront — an interactive, innovative public art event that is all about water.

This year, Arizona artist Jen Urso is taking it into virtual reality with her latest project, “What Grows Here.” It’s an interactive, layered map that shows more than 1,000 years of water use in the Scottsdale area. People can walk through it with an app that lets you move through the layers, each representing an important year in Scottsdale history.

As you can imagine, the maps from a millennia ago look very different than they do today.

The Show spoke with Urso to learn what inspired the project.

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