The New Nature of Maps

The author goes into the history of using maps. For awhile maps were put into categories like paintings, because written word was considered higher. That historians would use maps to pinpoint a location or time. The author asked the question: why should maps have suffered such neglect? The first part of the answer was the attitude of the historians. Maps are a reflection of the world. There is different standards of how a map if judged especially from maps from early time periods. Another question the author asked is what is a map? It  was described as a “a social construction of the world expressed through the medium of cartography” (35). There is more than just the items on the map but also the meanings in the map. Maps also have signs, symbols, and rhetoric. The maps use signs to represent the world (36). The map also connects on a symbolic level to text. Each map has its own purpose. The study of the history of cartography the interpretation of maps as a historical document. The author points out that maps need to be studied in theri context. There are three aspects that come together with map reading. The three aspects of argument are the context of cartographer, the context of other maps, and the context of society. Every map is created differently. While a map look straight forward the intention of the map can be hard to understand. Topographical maps could be created for different city purposes. The makers of the map are usually not free from baises like finfical, military or political ideas. The next was the context of other maps. A big question the author pointed out what was the relation of other maps. 1. What is the relationship of the angle content of a map. 2. What is the relationship of the map to another similar map. 3. What is the relationship to other maps of a same cartographic genre? 4. What is the relationship of the maps to the outer cartography angle? The next is the context of society. What is the makers relationship to society because maps are not made outside society. The rules of cartography. The first is to attempt to figure out the rules of the social order. Maps also have different meanings. What did the map mean to society that first made and used it (46). The first level is the individual level. Second to id the real place of the map. Third is the maps symbolic stratum. This was a good read. I do like to look at maps especially when they represent change over time. So this was a good insight to what a map can mean.

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