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

By John Pickles

This e-book presents a necessary perception into the practices and concepts 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 point of interest of conventional cartography, the e-book attracts on examples of using maps from the 16th century to the current, together with their function in initiatives of the nationwide and colonial country, emergent capitalism and the planetary attention of the usual sciences. It additionally considers using maps for army reasons, maps that experience coded sleek conceptions of wellbeing and fitness, sickness and social personality, and maps of the obvious human physique and the obvious earth.

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

Sample text

For Figlio, science acts in this way: it concocts nature, reduces its dimensionality, represents it in noncontradictory, bounded form. But this project of visualization is predicated on both repression and leakage; the monster emerges as an actor in its own right, no longer as representation but as the return of the repressed. In this sense propaganda maps function as the repressed creation of scientific, objective cartography; a monster created and unleashed by its Own logics and practices. If, as Bruno Latour (1999) suggests, we simply abandon our commitment to both objectivism and naturalism, as objectivist epistemologies breathe their last breath, such monsters may just shrivel up.

The map leaks as a tool so that '[w]e tend to assume too readily that the depiction of the arrangement of things on the earth's surface on a map is equivalent to a photograph ... The object before the camera draws its own image through the operation of optical and chemical processes. The image on a map is drawn by human hands, controlled by operations in a human mind' (Wright 1966: 33). 'Every map is thus a reflection partly of objective realities and partly of subjective elements ... No map ...

In such maps, the techniques of modern cartography (and often very finely crafted maps) are used to dislodge a particular hegemonic orientation that has been standardized historically. Is this to be characterized as a propaganda or a political map, but the more standard northern orientation of other modern maps is not simply because the latter has been accepted as the norm? What are the limits of standards and norms, and when is a nOrm itself a form of propaganda? Is the distinction between propaganda and scientific cartography dependent on specific moral and historical judgements about accepted practice?

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