September 6: Cartographic Futures, Presents + Pasts

Map of Nippur, 14th/13th c. BCE

Field Trip, 4-5pm: NYPL Map Division, 42nd St + 5th Ave, meet outside room 117 – Here’s Nancy’s list of the materials she shared with us

READING FOR TODAY

The Old

The New and Timeless: these two pieces foreshadow many of the themes and critical questions we’ll be discussing throughout the semester

  • Shannon Mattern, “Mapping’s Intelligent Agents,” Places Journal (forthcoming mid-September 2017) [This piece will be published online in a week or two! You can find corresponding images here].
  • Lois Parshley, “Here Be Dragons: Finding Blank Spaces in a Well-Mapped World,” Virginia Quarterly Review 93:1 (Winter 2017).
  • What new cartographic developments – humanitarian or ecological applications, business opportunities, creative experiments, political or ethical threats, areas of critical study, etc. – are most compelling to you? You might draw from inspiration from the two essays above, or you might consider how mapping aids in predictive policing and military combat; how new geolocative technologies make it possible for online retailers to deliver to remote, henceforth “un-addressed” parts of the world; how real-time mapping opens up new potential in the worlds of gaming or performance; how artists find creative fodder in geo-media glitches; or how smartphones could be compromising our “spatial thinking”; or any of the other ways mapping is transforming transportation, trade, culture, climate, and realms beyond. Your task is to choose a cartographic issue or application of personal interest; do a little digging online for relevant news, recent scholarship, and illuminating “think pieces”; then come to class prepared to briefly report on one “future of mapping” story that interests you and seems ripe for investigation. You’ll each have one minute to present!

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SUPPLEMENTAL RESOURCES

J.B. Harley and David Woodward, Eds., Cartography in Prehistoric, Ancient, and Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean, Vol. 1 of The History of Cartography (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987) [especially Catherine Delano Smith, “Cartography in the Prehistoric Period in the Old World”] and J. B. Harley and David Woodward, Eds., Cartography in the Traditional Islamic and South Asian Societies, Vol. 2, Book 1 of The History of Cartography; Cartography in the Traditional East and Southeast Asian Societies, Vol. 2, Book 2 of The History of Cartography; and Cartography in the Traditional African, American, Arctic, Australian, and Pacific Societies, Vol. 2, Book 3 of The History of Cartography

Ed Parsons & Steve Chilton, “The New Mapping Revolution: Google Maps and OpenStreetMap,” Discussion at the British Library (September 7, 2010) [on egocentrism, disposability, availability of aerial photography]

The richly illustrated website companion to Susan Schulten’s Mapping the Nation | David Rumsey Map Collection: 70,000+ historical maps of all continents (except Antarctica) and the world

David Turnbull’s Maps are Territories website

 

 

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