Monday, April 3, 2017

Mapping it Out: An Alternative Atlas of Contemporary Cartographics

This is a quirky book that challenges the reader to accept unusual presentations of unusual information. Among the artists are Bruce Sterling, Yoko Ono, and Tim Berners-Lee. Mapping it Out: An Alternative Atlas of Contemporary Cartographics edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist with an introduction by Tom McCarthy, Thames & Hudson, 2014.  
The Size of Your Senate Vote by artist James Croak pages 66-67.
Edward Tufte’s The Visual Display of Quantitative Information is the classic work in this genre. His website is here. Unlike that book, this one speaks for and to cartographers.  It breaks many rules that bibliophiles accept implicitly. For example all of the front matter – copyright, publication – is in the back.  The table of contents (in the front) is in the format of a map key. 
 
Africa by Kai Krause pages 44-45.
The five chapters across 240 pages are: Redrawn Territories; Charting Human Life; Scientia Naturalis; Invented Worlds; and The Unmappable. Presentations consist of two facing pages (occasionally one) with a map on one (usually the right, odd-numbered) and a key to the author and the work on the other. 
Mind Map of Western Philosophy on the Coppelia website here.
The maps of "Product Space" by César Hidalgo (page 66-67) and of diseases by Albert-László Barabási (pages 142-143) reminded me of the Mind Map of Western Philosophy on the Coppelia website here.  Coppelia offers solutions in machine learning and analytics. That image is from their blog for 13 June 2012 by Simon Raper, posted in Data. It was reproduced on the Coppelia blog two years later for a different discussion.
 
Mycoplasma Mycoides JCVI-synth 1.0
by J. Craig Venter, pages 146-147.
See also a road map of viruses by George Church page 128. 
Some of the maps are startlingly mundane, such as the black-and-white aerial photo of central Oslo (pages 188-189), or the drawings of the northern polar region by earth scientist Laurence C. Smith.  On the other hand, Tim Berners-Lee’s projection of what cyberspace looks like to him reminded me of Bilbo Baggins’s rendering of Middle Earth – and perhaps that is deeply appropriate.
 
Transactions define regions by Carlo Ratti page 121.
These 3-D stacks show telecommunication units.
Most people in most places call their neighbors 
but London reaches out. 
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1 comment:

  1. Thinking of the top map, the system of breaking things up by state seems so antiquated. The Founders wanted to be sure all states are represented, so a a majority of Northern or Southern states wouldn't dominate. Now it's urban/rural.

    Rural people on blogs say they hate us and yearn to make us feel uncomfortable, presumably to redress the times they felt uncomfortable taking the bus or when they felt foolish for not getting some reference. I recently drove through rural Kentucky and talked to a few people. They all seem like nice people, with no desire to bother people. Maybe part of it is policy blogs attract jerks, but I think part of it is the political system is based on states. I look at that map. They didn't do that to give redneck's more voice. It was to give the South and North a voice.

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