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Maps - Essay Example

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Maps are pictorial representations of the world around us. They serve a purpose of guidance and direction to people in unfamiliar areas. When we visit a new area, we heavily rely on maps to give us guidance. Maps are drawn for a different purpose and hence have different representations. …
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Download file to see previous pages Due to the different kinds of representations, maps tend to have different messages and interpretations altogether (University of Southern Maine, p 1). Some of the interpretations give insight to areas with cultural, religious, economic, social and even political bearings. This information is important to any traveller or visitor to the area because it paints a picture that would not be easily expressed with words. This information, though essential to the visitors, is also useful to the natives. It helps them know their surroundings. An analysis to any map should be able to the information portrayed by the map. This paper will deal with the analysis of the American map in 1672 and its symbolism to the nation. Analysis of the map of America in 1672 The map under scrutiny here is the American map of 1672 (University of Southern Maine, p 1). This essay aims to critically analyze the underlying information that the map makers were trying to depict. One of the aspects that easily stands out is the presence of ships is various parts of the map. This brings out two aspects that were present at this time. First, is that, one of the most common modes of transportation were ships. The heavy presence of ships around north and South America suggests that there was a lot of movement to neighboring harbors. This also indicates that there was trade between neighboring countries. The heavy presence of ships all around shows that trade was quite prevalent, and this is also shown by the different kinds of ships around, this is could have been used to show other countries vessels. On some parts of the maps, a group of smoking ships are also depicted. This aim to show that these ships were in battle, or they were protecting the harbors from enemies. The smoke indicated the damage that might have been sustained during battle. The ships surround a half-submerged ship, which seems to indicate a fallen enemy vessel. On the bottom left part of the map, the map makers depict a group of Native Americans doing farming. This is an indication of the economic practices that were carried out during those times. Next to the farming there is a group of natives conversing with some merchant. This shows the time that merchants were moving around exploring new lands and looking for new trade relations. The map depicts the natives negotiating with the chief or leader. This depicts that, in this era, the merchants were trying to expand their relations and maybe create new allies for trading or other economics purposes (University of Southern Maine, p 1). This was mostly because there was so much competition between the Dutch and the Americans because of these new trading grounds. On the bottom left side of the map, the map makers show another group of people that are hunting. This also shows another economic practice that was prevalent in the era. The group of people is seen using spears and arrows to kill their prey. To the left of this is a group of other natives that are shown as talking to a merchant as well, one is carrying a bow and arrow and another is carrying a spear, they are shown as paying keen attention to the merchant. On the bottom left of the map, new animals are also depicted. They represent animals that had been newly domesticated and were helping people with various tasks. The map makers have used a lot of different texture on the map to show the different terrains that were present. The darker textures depict the higher ground on the map, or the highlands. South of south America is particularly dark, and the map makers went an extra mile to show the hills. Apart from the terrain, the map makers have also shown running water bodies within the land. This is represented by rivers and estuaries, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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