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Maps as a Form of Communication - Essay Example

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This essay discusses that from the very beginning of the study of geography, mapping and the understanding and usage of maps have been a fascination for geographers and geographical philosophers alike. Maps have enabled the world to be classified into the spaces in which people live, work and play. …
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Maps as a Form of Communication
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Download file to see previous pages According to the report philosophical understanding with regard to the study of mapping is vital as maps have two distinct trademark features “offering a framework for knowledge, and a set of assertions about the world itself.” This means that thinking about mapping must therefore provide a distinction between the process of mapping as an exercise, and the type of claims that knowledge asserted within maps is able to make.

From this discussion it is clear that cartography aims to be a scientific process, and it is of course deeply rooted in the study of landforms and other surveying practices. The map should represent the world through ‘visual inventorying’, forming an accurate representation of the land itself and the spatial relationships around it. The map is an effective tool for communication only if it displays a scaled abstraction of the land to a known and standardised degree of precision. The beginnings of research into map communication and a more user directed interpretation started to develop in the 1950’s. Up until this point the demands for the map to reflect ‘true’ to life representation had certainly been an objective of cartographers, but as the demands from various consumers of maps such as the military and property owners grew, the need was seen for a move away from the art of cartography. Arthur Robinson, designer of the Robison world map projection, wanted to form a science of cartography, whereby design principles would be based on what was easiest for the map user to interpret. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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