Map and Cartography Essay

“Cartographers have strongly emphasised the visible, the tangible, the static, the physical and the historical values over the invisible, intangible, dynamic, human and futurist aspects of the world. ” Cartographers have long ago developed maps for understanding the complexity of our environment. Whether it started for war or general education, cartography has developed over time in an astonishing way.

While analysing the quote ‘Cartographers have strongly emphasised the visible, the tangible, the static, the physical and the historical values over the invisible, intangible, dynamic, human and futurist aspects of the world’ by Muehrke, I began to understand the graphic projections have a long history in creating visual representations. This essay will argue that cartography develops a better understanding of what is visible, tangible, static and physical. I will also discuss how historical mapping has changed and evolved to enable the mapping of the invisible, intangible and dynamic.

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The last paragraph will portray my personal view of cartography and how this statement relates to my emerging cartography philosophy. From the beginning of the lecture I have learned that cartography is ‘the organization and communication of geographically related information in either graphic or digital form. Cartography includes all processes from data acquisition to presentation and use’ (Chalmers, 2013). Maps have many classes; each used to categorise certain features.

The data available is too vast to fit on one map therefore the different classes of maps help understand where features lie in New Zealand. The history of mapping is a complex and an undefined subject. Maps have been found in caves found from 1,000BC depicting the land and area surrounding it’s creator. For the purpose of this essay I will focus from the time of the great age of exploration to the current 21st century. Historically speaking, maps were generally used as a tool to show information of land and what was visible.

In the 21st century it is much more than locating visible entities. Cartography allows for the mapping of people and their ideas. A map can be created for just about anything whether it visible or invisible, tangible or intangible. Kirkpatrick understood this and therefore developed a new way of understanding the futuristic information being mapped. The cartographic matrix takes information and the style of map to make sense of the image created. These maps show alternative data such as culture and form it into a traditional map.

This kind of information develop people’s ideas about the human psychology, which helps develop how perceive the environment around us. The future of mapping has moved itself entirely from the once primitive style of cartography. The word cartography is derived from the word chart, so in its literal sense, it is about charting information. Information gathered is used in various ways and for various reasons. Education for instance is focused on working with maps to understand people and place, the reasoning’s behind people’s decisions to live where they do.

The future also involves the internet where massive amounts of data and charts are stored and in most cases fully accessible where they were once locked to government officials. Programs such as ArcMap and ArcGlobe allow people to create their own maps to analyse information and people. Developers find these tools invaluable for business, it takes the difficulty of travel and expense. The time of virtual inspection is now, Google Earth provides and in depth and clear image of the Earth.

Functions within these programs have the capabilities for people to view and experience the sight without having to leave their office or computer. The quote from Muehrke I consider is one that he truly believed in because in the point in history that it was said was a time where technology had not yet reached it’s peek. Even today, has technology reached its entirety? I ask myself this question as someone who is astonished at what I am able to achieve with the help of cartographic technology, to me this is as good as it gets and I wonder if it was the same for Muehrke.

Human psychology is not easily mapped however; technology allows people to create almost anything. The fact that cartographers have always valued the visible, tangible, static, the physical and the historical is true, in saying that I don’t believe that in today’s society these are to be regarded superior over the invisible, intangible, dynamic, humanistic and futuristic aspects of the world. As a beginning teacher I am emerged in the idea that it is about the future of New Zealand that we are to value, our nation is multi cultural.

The invisible entities are what we are beginning to focus on more and more. . The Maori psychology is not something that is easily mapped however it is important to our nation and Maori culture is not a stagnate concept. Perhaps this statement was made in a time where it was easier to map the visible and physical and the futuristic ideas were daunting. However, in a world with internet it is easy for this generation of cartographers to say that the unseen is more apparent and straightforward to map and understand.

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