“…approach it like an adventurer…” – Hugh Davies [Lecture 9, 23-09-2014]

Generally speaking, all maps lead to something specific. The stereotypical Pirate’s maps in movies mark the spot to find buried treasure with an ‘X’, whilst the maps found in action movies, generally show the path the protagonist must follow to achieve their ultimate goal. In the same way, maps of Earth also show destinations.

Physical space is represented through maps. Maps are: “a diagrammatic representation of an area of land or sea showing physical features” or “a person’s face”. Cartography is the practice of making maps and even maps can be mapped. The broad definition ‘mapping’ encompasses, provides for endless possibilities as to what maps can illustrate and depict. To some extent, a map should be able to tell us about the world. We should be able to grasp what the map is telling us at a glance. When we make our own maps we are projecting how we see the world. We can also not include specific information in maps. By not including this information, however, different assumptions about the map are available.

Each map is different in its own way and how we perceive it depends upon the projection it makes. What destination or directions a map emphasises is a story of the world. It is also a discourse of information and an assumption about the facts hidden. When practicing cartography, there is value in creative maps. We do not want the same content again and again – it becomes recycled, obvious and objective. We want to approach cartography “…like an adventurer…” and create something that is subjective and highly emotive; something that is a journey in its own right.

 

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