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  (1) The study of maps and their use (see map image and map), and (2) the art, science and technology of mapmaking. Portuguese scholar Manuel Francisco de Barrose Sousa, Viscount of Santarém, coined the term in 1839 as a rubric for map study, analogous to the use in history of the term historiography (Wolter, 1975). Although Santarém referred only to early maps, the word evolved in the nineteenth century to include contemporary maps and mapping as well as ancient artifacts (Harley, 1987, p. 12). Its popular association with the practice of making maps reflects lexical roots in carte (French for map) and graphie (Greek for writing).

At present, cartography has several shades of meaning. In an inclusive sense, the word refers broadly to mapmaking by governments, private firms and individual map authors. In this context, it includes not only the compilation, design, production and distribution of maps but also the collection of basic data through surveying, remote sensing and census enumeration. More narrowly, the term connotes map design and production: the final stages of mapmaking are sometimes called \'map finishing\'. In the 1990s, humanists and other devotees of postmodern critique appropriated the term — often used in its plural, cartographies — as a metaphor for the interpretation, rhetorical power and cultural relations of maps, diagrams and other graphical representations. In academia, though, a cartographer is a person who either creates maps or studies them.

The art in cartography is most apparent in the map\'s adaptation of emotive symbols and colours, its interpretation and graphic representation of the physical landscape, and its use of/as decoration. This latter context accounts for the collector\'s interest in old maps that are both aesthetically intriguing and historically significant. Although modern maps are less overtly decorative than their predecessors, any map, no matter how stylistically bland or marginally creative, reflects its author\'s exercise of judgement, skill and taste — qualities shared with \'works of art\' of all kinds. In a still broader sense, cartography has four distinct links with visual aesthetics and art history: art in maps, art as maps, maps in art, and maps as art (Woodward, 1987).

However objective in appearance or reputation, all maps are at least partly subjective, as John K. Wright (1942) eloquently pointed out in his essay \'Mapmakers are human\'. Subjectivity gives rise to bias, especially in politics, journalism and even so-called objective science, in which maps are often persuasive communications, designed consciously to support a particular hypothesis, viewpoint or political agenda (Black, 1997; Tyner, 1982). Some of these maps are clearly social constructions, mediated by producers and users or imposed by force or guile on the less powerful. Examples abound in environmental planning and emergency management (cf. hazard). In floodplain management, for example, hydrologists and public officials, who agree on the need for flood insurance and restrictions on private use of beaches and flood plains, willingly overlook the uncertainty inherent in delineating flood zones on flood-insurance rate maps (Monmonier, 1997, pp. 105-26). In similar contexts concerned with human safety, scientists and citizens tolerate flawed maps on which crisp, convincing lines portray environmental regulations as essential or emergency evacuation as feasible.

Subjectivity has its price. Public ignorance of cartographic generalization often allows ill-informed designs, not-so-subtle propaganda, blatant mistakes and unwarranted verbal interpretations to go unchallenged. Although cartographic scholars have been remiss to survey the opinions, attitudes and experiences of map users, conventional wisdom suggests that many map viewers attribute to small-scale maps the comparative precision and relative truthfulness of large-scale representations less subject to the imprecision and uncertainty arising from the need to suppress, smooth, displace and classify features. Geographers and cartographers have yet to effect two obvious and complementary solutions: more appropriately fuzzy map symbols and increased emphasis on graphic literacy in public education.

Similar to diverse links between art and maps, the science in cartography refers both to the use of maps as analytical tools in the physical and social sciences and to the application of scientific principles in studying how the map\'s symbolic codes affect the viewer\'s comprehension of data values, spatial patterns and geographic relationships (MacEachren, 1995). Subject testing modelled after controlled experiments in perceptual and cognitive psychology has proven an effective approach to evaluating the legibility of type, the relative accuracy and efficiency with which map symbols (see symbolization) help viewers locate features and places, and the reliability of gray-tones and colour for portraying differences in quantity and quality (Brewer et al., 1997). In their efforts to understand and improve map communication, cartographic researchers employ scientific strategies ranging from computer simulation and mathematical derivation to questionnaires, structured interviewing, content analysis and qualitative data-collection techniques like participant observation and ethnography.

Contemporary cartography is more a technology than an art or a science. In compiling and displaying maps, mapmakers have had to master, adapt or develop a broad variety of electronic, mechanical and photographic techniques for capturing, storing, retrieving, selecting, smoothing and enhancing geographical information. Electronic scanning and plotting have not only displaced pen-and-ink drawing and other traditional techniques but also blurred distinctions between computer-assisted cartography and geographical information systems. Computer programming became an important tool in cartography in the 1960s, as opportunities for creative design expanded to include geographic databases, mapping software, interfaces for high-interaction map viewing and algorithms for automated map analysis. Perhaps the most revolutionary challenge of the new \'digital cartography\' was the need to design maps to be read efficiently by machines, not humans.

Computers have taken much of the drudgery out of the expository cartography practised in geography, earth science, journalism and commercial map publishing. Illustration, presentation and image-processing software as well as specialized packages for animation and map projection foster heretofore extraordinary levels of experimentation and customization. Ironically perhaps, map authorship in this era of the keyboard and mouse depends heavily on hand-eye coordination and the skilful point-and-click manipulation of lines, polygons and other cartographic objects sorted into layers and assigned styles. Although positioning labels, correcting mistakes and experimenting with design are markedly faster than a few decades ago, manual dexterity and at least a rudimentary sense of aesthetics are essential to the successful application of software tools.

Despite its challenges and pitfalls, new technology has opened myriad opportunities for innovation, especially in the development of dynamic and interactive software for making and viewing maps. Especially promising are applications of hypertext, multimedia and narrative graphics — including the integration of sound with sequenced graphics — as well as applications of the Internet and the World Wide Web to map compilation, map analysis, map publishing and cartographic education (Peterson, 1997). However promising, apparent improvements in display technology raise equally if not more enigmatic research questions about the utility, philosophical meaning and social impact of new technology. Cartography\'s rich history demonstrates that progress is neither inherently linear nor necessarily beneficial (Edney, 1993).

In making the tools and data of map authorship widely accessible, personal computers and mapping software have fostered an unprecedented democratization of cartography. Empowered by \'user-friendly\' graphical interfaces and laser printers, untrained amateurs can now produce maps with the crisp type, sharp lines and convincing keys — once the hallmark of the professional mapmaker. The consequences of this empowerment are at once encouraging and alarming. Cartographic purists rightly condemn the misinformation promulgated by software developers ignorant of basic principles of cartographic design — instead of promoting graphic logic, software manuals and default symbols often endorse conceptually flawed multi-hue choropleth maps of count data. Equally intriguing are the prospects of a devaluation of maps as symbols of authority and a \'demassification\' of cartographic publishing through the World Wide Web, which provides individual map authors direct access to small, specialized markets.

Because of the importance of government as both a producer and user of maps, cartography is also concerned with the impacts of public policy on coverage, appearance and reliability; with technical standards for accuracy, data quality and terminology; and with legal issues such as access, copyright, liability and privacy (Curry, 1997; Monmonier, 1982). As an institutional enterprise, mapping depends heavily on the interaction of its public and commercial sectors for the development of navigation aids, atlases and other consumer products as well as for the topographic maps and geographic inventories essential to national defence, economic development, growth management and environmental protection. Other institutional issues that warrant scholarly investigation are marketing strategies (McGrath, 1986; Petchenik, 1985), cost recovery (Rhind, 1992), and the cartographic relations between government and indigenous peoples (Rundstrom, 1993).

As an academic discipline, cartography is largely a subfield of geography. Although mapmaking is studied and taught in departments of landscape architecture, photogrammetry, planning, surveying and other related fields, most scholars of cartography are affiliated with geography departments, in which students are taught the compilation, design and analysis of maps as a basic research skill. The history of cartography (see cartography, history of) is a recognizable but more loosely organized discipline that includes geographers as well as historians, art historians, historians of science and technology, map collectors and map librarians.

Cartography acquired the trappings of a scholarly specialty in the latter half of the twentieth century (Wolter, 1975). Although still tied in most countries to the parent discipline, geography, cartographers developed their own national scholarly-professional societies, largely in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as their own scholarly and technical journals, principally in the 1960s and 1970s. Even so, separate academic departments of cartography are rare in the English-speaking world, and the field is smaller and less visible than the newer, more vigorous interdisciplinary specialty \'geographical information science\' (Goodchild, 1992), which focuses less on mapping and map design than on geographical information systems. The International Cartographic Association, founded in 1960, fosters international collaborative research and the transfer of mapping technology to lesser developed nations. At both international and national levels, technology and education are key concerns.

Few links between cartography and geography are as strong as the authorship of atlases addressing a particular theme or region. As a cartographic synthesis, the carefully crafted atlas is the epitome of geographic scholarship: a comprehensive reference work offering ready retrieval as well as serendipitous insight. Because the genre demands knowledge of both subject matter and map design, the atlas is often a collaborative endeavour of a cartographer responsible for designing pages and producing artwork and a researcher who collects source materials and writes the accompanying text. Careful integration of maps, statistical graphs, photographs and interpretative text is essential. For national, provincial or state atlases, which demand a broad range of specialized knowledge, a general editor might recruit subject-matter experts to compile maps for specific sections, write descriptions and interact with the cartographic editor, who coordinates design and layout.

A promising late twentieth-century development is the electronic atlas, distributed on CD-ROM or over the Internet. Although computer display has yet to match the graphic resolution of the printed page, multimedia distribution can offer readers access to basic data and the author\'s detailed notes as well as provide animated displays describing physical processes or sequences of historical events (Keller, 1995). An essential element is a highly interactive interface that helps readers search for specific facts, explore data and navigate freely among the atlas\'s varied representations. The two formats are easily integrated in a hybrid electronic atlas, in which CD-ROM storage provides smooth animations and rapid retrieval, while the Internet offers timely access to new information (Crampton, 1995).

In addition to coping with computers and institutional issues, cartographic scholars have shown an increased interest in map use, especially in navigation, scientific analysis, land-use planning and journalism. Even so, the field has yet to adopt interviewing and other ethnographic methods (see ethnography) with the fervour once used to explore the effectiveness and reliability of graytones and graduated circles. Despite intriguing conjecture about the power and influence of maps, cartography at the turn of the century lacks the empirical foundation necessary for more than a superficial understanding of the map\'s role in society. (MM)

References Black, J. 1997: Maps and politics. London: Reaktion Books. Brewer, C.A. et al. 1997: Mapping mortality: evaluating color schemes for choropleth maps. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 87: 411-38. Crampton, J. 1995: Cartography resources on the World Wide Web. Cartographic Perspectives 22: 3-11. Curry, M.R. 1997: The digital individual and the private realm. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 87: 681-99. Edney, M.H. 1993: Cartography without \'progress\': reinterpreting the nature and historical development of mapmaking. Cartographica 30 (2&3): 504-68. Goodchild, M.F. 1992: Geographical information science. International Journal of Geographical Information Systems 6: 31-45. Harley, J.B. 1987: The map and the development of the history of cartography. In J.B. Harley, and D. Woodward, eds, The history of cartography, vol. 1: Cartography in prehistoric, ancient and medieval Europe and the Mediterranean. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1-42. Keller, C.P. 1995: Visualizing digital atlas information products and the user perspective. Cartographic Perspectives 20: 21-8. MacEachren, A.M. 1995: How maps work: representation, visualization, and design. New York: Guilford Press. McGrath, G. 1986: Measuring the size of the Canadian market for maps, atlases and related products. Cartographica 23 (3): 42-53. Monmonier, M. 1982: Cartography, geographic information, and public policy. Journal of Geography in Higher Education 6: 99-107. Monmonier, M. 1997: Cartographies of danger: mapping hazards in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Petchenik, B.B. 1985: Maps, markets and money: a look at the economic underpinnings of cartography. Cartographica 22 (3): 7-19. Peterson, M.P. 1997: Cartography and the Internet: introduction and research agenda. Cartographic Perspectives 26: 3-12. Rhind, D. 1992: Data access, charging and copyright and their implications for geographical information systems. International Journal of Geographical Information Systems 6: 13-30. Rundstrom, R.A. 1993: The role of ethics, mapping, and the meaning of place in relations between Indians and whites in the United States. Cartographica 30 (1): 21-8. Tyner, J.A. 1982: Persuasive cartography. Journal of Geography 81: 140-4. Wolter, J.A. 1975: Cartography — an emerging discipline. Canadian Cartographer 12: 210-16. Woodward, D. 1987: Introduction. In D. Woodward, ed., Art and cartography: six historical essays. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1-9. Wright, J.K. 1942: Mapmakers are human: comments on the subjective in maps. Geographical Review 32: 527-44;

Suggested Reading Monmonier, M. 1993: Mapping it out: expository cartography for the humanities and social sciences. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Perkins, C.R. and Parry, R.B., eds, 1990: Information sources in cartography. London: Bowker-Saur. Robinson, A.H. et al. 1995: Elements of cartography, 6th edn. New York: John Wiley and Sons. Thrower, N.J.W. 1996: Maps and civilization: cartography in culture and society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Wood, C.H. and Keller, C.P., eds, 1996: Cartographic design: theoretical and practical perspectives. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons.



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