Synopses & Reviews
The author shows how maps are made to appear as unbiased reference objects, though they actually depict, like a photograph, a subjective point of view.
He discusses the signs and myths inherent in maps and suggests ways to decode the interests implicit in their representation.
This volume ventures into terrain where even the most sophisticated map fails to lead--through the mapmaker's bias. Denis Wood shows how maps are not impartial reference objects, but rather instruments of communication, persuasion, and power. Like paintings, they express a point of view. By connecting us to a reality that could not exist in the absence of maps--a world of property lines and voting rights, taxation districts and enterprise zones--they embody and project the interests of their creators. Sampling the scope of maps available today, illustrations include Peter Gould's AIDS map, Tom Van Sant's map of the earth, U.S. Geological Survey maps, and a child's drawing of the world. THE POWER OF MAPS was published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt Museum, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Design.
A consideration of maps which evaluates the significance of the signs and myths which are inherent in them, and considers them as subjective depictions of reality rather than unbiased reference objects.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 196-242) and index.