A History of Spaces: Cartographic Reason, Mapping and the by John Pickles

By John Pickles

This publication offers a vital perception into the practices and ideas of maps and map-making. It attracts on quite a lot of social theorists, and theorists of maps and cartography, to teach how maps and map-making have formed the areas within which we live.
Going past the focal point of conventional cartography, the booklet attracts on examples of using maps from the 16th century to the current, together with their position in tasks of the nationwide and colonial nation, emergent capitalism and the planetary awareness of the common sciences. It additionally considers using maps for army reasons, maps that experience coded smooth conceptions of wellbeing and fitness, affliction and social personality, and maps of the obvious human physique and the obvious earth.

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Additional resources for A History of Spaces: Cartographic Reason, Mapping and the Geo-Coded World (Frontiers of Human Geography)

Example text

Thus, like all works, the map carries along with it so much more than the author intended. Also, like any text, the map takes on a life (and a context) of its own beyond the author's control. The map is a text, like any other in this regard, whose meaning and impact may go far beyond the limits of technique, the author's intention, 44 Deconstructing the map and the mere transmittal of information. Thus, the perception of graphical images is not a purely psychological reception of information but a complex social play of images present and absent, in the context of other symbolic, ideological and material concerns.

Map-making and map-reading are seen to involve the straightforward transmission of information in a philosophically and practically unproblematic manner. In particular, while cartography always does seek to persuade, to convince or to argue, it does so without selecting its techniques for purely visual impact; in the choice of subject matter, what is centred on the page, what is consigned to the edge of the map, and which scale and projection shall be used, the cartographer is guided by rules of scientific procedure and convention.

THEORIES OF READING AND WRITING? How, then, do we read maps? In particular, how do we answer our initial question: how do we read propaganda maps? Propaganda maps are not a separate category of text and they cannot be accounted for adequately by traditional theories of maps. Instead, an effective critique of the distorting and ideological nature of propaganda maps must be based on a wider conception of what constitutes both propaganda and science. That is, the ideological and propagandistic elements of contemporary 'scientific' maps must also be assessed at those points where the cartographer shares the ideology of his/her age, where accepted practices are founded on particular ideologies, and where unchallenged interests influence the form and content of the theory and practice of mapping.

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