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- It is not down in any map. True places never are. -- Herman Melville (possibly to move to SocialSemanticSpace?) via Ecotone Wiki 
What is the relationship between the map and the territory?
When is a map not a map but a picture?
"The map is not the territory." (Korzybski, 1941)
- Korzybski, A. (1941) Science and sanity (2nd ed.). Lancaster, PA: International Non-Aristotelian Library Publishing Co.
- iconic representation (which attempts to directl portray centrain visual apsects of the piece of territory in question)
- symbolic representation (which utliises purely conventional signs and symbols, like letters, numbers or graphi devices)
- "Maps are graphic representations that facilitate a spatial understanding of things, concepts, conditions, processes, or events in the human world." Harley, J. B. and Woodward, D. (eds.) (1987) The history of cartography, vol. 1, p.xvi
Selective: they do not, and cannot, display all there is to know about any given piece of the enviornment.
- mapmaper determiens what is, and equally importantly, what is not included in the representation. [but now confused in SocialSemanticSpaces?]
- from objective real space to map --> projection (e.g. Mercator projections) map sphere to 2d space
- similarly representation of digital space on 2d screen
Direct if they are to be maps at all they must directly represent at least some aspects of the landscape
- The map, if it is to ahve authority in Western society, msut have the appearance of 'artless-ness'; that is, it msut appear simply to exhibit the ladnscape, rather than to desscribe itw with aritfice or in accordance with the perceived interests of the mapmaker. For a map to be useful, it must of course offer information about the real world, but if this 'real world information' is to be credible, it must be transmitted in a code that by Western standards appears neutral objective and impersonal, unadorned by stylistic device and unmediated by the arbitrary interests of individuals or social groups.
- an apt metaphor for scientific discourse
- scientific representations are laden with conventions
- however conventions kept as transparent or inconspicuous as possible
- However, faulty as representations are active social constructions and therefore forgeable or inaccurate.
- we do not have direct, unmediated access to the territory --> the map is the territory.
- maps are scientific and that what makes them so is that they empbody, as does science, statements that are true independent of the context in which they are made (e.g. E=MC^2).
- Such statements are called non-indexical.
- Indexical statements depend on context for their truth
- this distinction is overdrawn as no map is independent of the subjective perspective they are informed with (Wittgenstein's forms of life)
- i.e. maps unreadable without knowing the symbology behind them
- pictures are presumably representations of a particular subject or part of the lanscape from a particular point of view.
- point of view has at least some significance and may indeed by the dominant aspect of the picture
- however, maps deny or suppress that point of view (transparent by convention as noted above)
- conventional mutes primacy of artist's subjective stance
- ideal: maps are objective in that they are independent of the view of a particular observer
- however, not true!
- maps hide privileging of a particular perspective by disengagement
- "pictures may sometimes be entirely subjective, but maps, to be capable of transmitting information must be intersubjective.''
- Western maps gain power by denying or rendering transparent the inherent indexicality of all statements or knowledge cliams. In the Western tradition, the way to imbue a claim with autohrity is to attempt to eradicate all signs of its local, contingent, soical, and individual production. Australian Aborigines on the other hand ensure that their knowledge claims carry authority by so emphasising their indexicality that only the initiated can go beyond the surface appearance of local contingency. (p42)
- rather than transparent, accuracy, scientificity, we should consider only 'workability'--how successful are they in achieving the aims for which they were drawn--and what is their range of application
- power: Western maps allow the subjugation of all territory as unknown territory is already subordinated; hence a worldwide (universe-wide) Empire can be built (--> circumnavigation of the globe was due to predictive theories of space)
- SemanticSpaces can only subjugate what is discussed
- SemanticSpaces are social, and thus can only subjugate what is already owned
- Its representation in social space has to be made by representative, a person telling you a story about it, and thus to own that description you must somehow exert power over another person, which is a lot harder than exerting power over another mathematical entity
- contrast AlphaWorld?, where farflung coordinates were staked despite having no previous purpose in the normal community discourse, and that led to sparse population of builders 0.07%, and a social gravity towards ground zero.
- <-- Naming is owning is naming.
- hence the desire to embed hyperspace in another rational grid, even if it is a false one, because at least you can reference cell (X,Y,Z) without knowing why you would want to.
- Following the discovery of perspective geometry, the position of man in the cosmos altered. The new technique permitted the world to be measured through proportional compariosn. With the aid of the new geometry the relative sizes of different objects could be assessed at a distance for the first time. Distant objects could be reproduced with fidelity, or created to exact specifications in any position in space and then manipulated mathematically. The implications were tremendous. Arsitotelian thought had encoded all objects with 'essence', an indivisible, incomparable uniqueness. The position of these objects was, therefore, not to be compared with that of other objects, but only with God, who stood at the centre of the universe. Now, at a stroke, the special relationship with God and every separate object was removed, to be replaced by direct human control over objects existing in the same, measurable space
- This control over distance included objects in the sky, where the planets were supposed to roll, intangible and eternal, on their Aristotelian crystal spheres. Now they too might be measured, or even controlled at a distance. Man, with his new geometrical tool, was the measure of all things. The world was now available to standardisation. Everything could be related to the same scale and described in terms of mathematical function instead of merely its philosophical quality. Its activity could also be measured by a common standard, and perhaps be seen to conform to rules other than those of its positional relationship with the rest of nature. There might even be common, standard, measurable laws that governed nature.
- -- Burke, J. (1985) The day the universe changed. [publisher?] pp. 76-77 (as qtd. in MapsAreTerritories, pp. 24-25)
- perspective toast in cyberspace as it is a complete social construction. qua, it is also chosen by the artist.
- measuring allows people to make predictions from maps, assign names to unknown places (coordinates). e.g. Toscanelli was able to argue plausibly that sailing westwards across the Atlantic was a shorter voyage to the Spice Islands than the traditional route.
- "Nonetheless, it is possible for Aboriginal people to know about, and to travel acorss, unknown, even distant territory. Their knowledge is in fact combinable becasue it is in the form of narratives of journeys across the landscape. Aborigines inculcate and invoke conventions just as we do, through conferences and agreement. They call them business meetings; anthropologists call them ceremonies and rituals. Songlines (which are accounts of journeys made by Ancestral Beings in the Dreamtime) connect myths right across the country. One individual will only 'know' or have responsibility for one section of the songline, but through exchange and negotiation, the travels of the Ancestors can be connected together to form a network of dreaming trackings. These may be constituted as bark paintings or song cycles." (p. 27)
- why not fold narritive descriptions of space with the map, so that the narrative is the map in real terms? (i.e MOOs; wiki as MOO)
- cannot replace maps with photographs
- difficult to match map with aerial photograph
- why? semantic information added to (constructed within) representation.
- photographs show more and less information than a map
- which is more real? (space vs. spatiality)
SocialSemanticSpace? as lived map
- Yolngu of Australia
- dhulan maps?
- djalkiri is a clan's songline. refers to the Dreaming when the people of the two great ancestor clans socialised the landscape by living in it, thus variously creating the Dhuwa and the Yirritja, the dual sub-worlds of the Yolngu world
- in the course of their everyday doings, the Ancestral People left their 'footprints' and 'tracks', and this is the now known lanscape.
- the djalkiri refers to stories, songs, dances, and graphic representations about that epoch some of which define the country which is considered owned by the clan
- Yolngu knowledge is coincident with the creative activity of the Ancestral Beings who traversed the land and in the process created the topography. --> names to places along the paths, identity of each place is established by connection sto other places.
- paths connect groups of people --> social & economic framework
- whilst Western perspective measures landscape by length and width, Yolngu measure landscape by these Ancestral tracks, the framework of names. (SemanticSpace) as constructed socially (SocialSemanticSpace?)
- To Yolngu knowledge is a commodity or product which can be earned, traded, given, and restricted-->control.
- when hunting kangaroo by foot, returned to land rover due to knowledge of the kangaroo behaviour, not external references. thus internalized knowledge (forms of life) important to navigation.
- "When an Aboriginal depicts a stretch of country he generally incorporates its mythical with its physical features, so stressing the inseparable interrational between the two." David Lewis, 'The way of the noman', in From earlier fleets: Hemishere--an Aboriginal anthology, 1978, pp. 78-82 as qtd. in MapsAreTerritories, p. 52
- political jokes
- educate and entertain
- tell lies
- latent symbolic function: legitimating and disseminating the state's view of reality (maps as interface force perspective onto modes of discourse)
- maps as scientific theories; predict unknown space and times to traverse
- not enough to have a map. we need a cognitivie schema, as well as practical mastery of way-finding, to be able to generate an indexical image of the territory. Figure 9.2 is a map of Juan Fernandos Island. To identify the land, you have to generate an image of what the island looks like from your position, as in the landfall sketch at the top. Thus indexical images are required in addition to the supposedly non-indexical information on the map. (A. Gell, 'How to read a map: remarks on the practical logic of navigation', 1985, pp. 271-286) Though having a map makes the task of navigation a lot easier, it is not essential if you have a cognitive scheme and practical mastery.
- Aboriginal maps like Y only readable with the associated narrative story they tell with them. (partially social)
Perception of existing maps
===(MacEachren?, 1995) ===
Towards functional maps
- World War II crucial in shaping direction of cartography as a discipline. Particularly U.S. military shifted emphasis from production efficiency and graphic design toward map "functionality."
- Centrally important was Robinson, A. H. (1952) The look of maps. Madison: University of Wisconson Press.
- maps are often not fucntional
- Robinson argued that treating maps as art can lead to "arbitrary and capricious" decisions. He saw only two alternatives: either standarize everythign so that no confusion can result about the meaning of symbols, or study and analyze characteristics of percetion as they apply to maps so that symbolization and design decisions can be based on "objective" rules.
- A few suggestions emanated from the international cartographic community concerning standard symbol sets to be used on thematic maps, not considered seriously by many cartographers, including Robinson (1973)
- Robinson focused on lettering, colour, and map design.
Maps as graphic communication
- "If we then make the obvious assumption that the content of a map is appropriate to its purpose, there yet remains the equally significant evaluation of the visual methods employed to convey that content." (Robinson, 1952, p. 15)
- --> maps have a predefined purpose (vs. the map user bringing a purpose to the map that it may or may not fulfil)
- purpose is to convey the content selected to meet this purpose
- map content does not need to be questioned. ??? disparaged (MacEachren?, 1995)
- "knowledge that already exists and that the cartographer has access to is to be disseminated through the map, rather than constructed by the analyst who uses the map." (MacEachren?, 1995, p. 4)
Koláèný, A. (1969) Cartographic information--a fundamental concept and term in modern cartography. Cartographic Journal, 6, 47-49.
- The purview of cartography extended to encompass more than mapmaking. IT was approached as a process of communiation spatial information that had inputs, transmission, and receptin of information, and that terefore could be analyzed as a system. From this point of view, authors identifiied numerous obstacles or filters that information must pass through on its route from reality through the cartographer to the map, and then thorugh themaptot he mapuser. On the cartographer's side of the system, these filters include objectives, knowledge and experiences, abilities and attitudes, exsternal consdierations such as client demands, as well as the abstraction processes by which informaiton is put into map form( e.g. projection, simpflication, genrealization, calssfication, symbolization, etc.) For map use, the follwoing factors were identified as filters: the perceptual and spatial abilities of readers, understanding of the symbol system (e.g. training or ability to understand the legend), goals, attitudes, viewing time, intellignece, prior knowledge, and preconceptions. According to communication theory, each of these variables can act to inhibit information transmission, resulting in information loss or communication errors. (MacEachren?, 1995 p. 4-5)
- however, maps are not always for communicating some specific intent. Could just visualize information. Questions brought to map by reader; a map of GNPs answers multiple questions: which continents are wealthiest, which countries are poorest, how is latitude correlated with GNP, etc.
Exactness: Pixel to point
. . . In that Empire, the craft of Cartography attained such Perfection that the Map of a Single province covered the space of an entire City, and the Map of the Emprie itself an entire Province. In the course of Time, these Extensive maps were found somehow wanting, and so the College of Cartographers evolved a Map of the Empire that was of the same Scale as the Empire and that coincided with it point for point. Less attentive to the Study of Cartography, succeeding Generations came to judge a map of such Magnitude cumbersome, and, not without Irreverence, they abandoned it to the Rigours of sun and Rain. In the western Deserts, tattered fragments of the Map are still to be found, Sheltering an occasional Beast or beggar; in the whole Nation, no other relic is left of the Disclipline of Geography.
- -- from Travels of praiseworthy men (1658) by J. A. Suárez Miranda (1658) as qtd. in MapsAreTerritories (1994, p. 2) [which in turn is quoting Jorge Luis Borges, A universal history of infamy (1975, p. 131)]
And here I was thinking map-vs-territory was an accessible metaphor of some kind. Sunir, have you considered dumbing down some of this stuff at all? --EvanProdromou
I assume by "dumb" you mean compscis. You want me to compsci this up? ;) Sure. I have to write a paper on this that I'm submitting to the Computer Science faculty. What? I'm not the only person here who reads literary theory textbooks, am I? Maybe that explains why Alex hated CybertextPerspectivesOnErgodicLiterature. -- SunirShah
So, I can eat a map of Quebec, but I can't eat Quebec. When I draw a new dot on my map of Quebec right off autoroute 40 and write "St. Prodromou" next to it, I can't drive down autoroute 40 and find the town of St. Prodromou and go have a burger there. If I cut Quebec out of my map in Canada, it is not sovereign.
Most of my ideas of "X == Y" have to do with, "If you change X, Y is changed the same way." That doesn't happen with maps. So, I guess I'm missing the whole joke. --EvanProdromou
Taiap and the masalai; language, religion, semantic space, RepresentationConfusion, and the crushing reality of globalization. 
"One consequence of the new exactly repeatable visual statement was modern science. Exact observation does not begin with modern science. For ages, it has always been essential for survival among, for example, hunters and craftsmen of many sorts. What is distinctive of modern science is the conjuncture of exact observation and exact verbalization: exactly worded descriptions of carefully observed complex objects and processes. The availability of carefully made, technical prints (first woodcuts, and later even more exactly detailed metal engravings) implemented such exactly worded descriptions. Technical prints and technical verbalization reinforced and improved each other. The resulting hypervisualized noetic world was brand new. Ancient and medieval writers are simply unable to produce exactly worded descriptions of complex objects at all approximating the descriptions that appear after print and, indeed, that mature chiefly with the Age of Romanticism, that is, the age of the Industrial Revolution. Oral and residually oral verbalization directs its attention to action, not to the visual appearance of objects or scenes or persons (Fritschi 1981, pp. 65—6; cf. Havelock 1963, pp. 61—96). Vitruvius' treatise on architecture is notoriously vague. The kinds of exactitude aimed at by the long-standing rhetorical tradition were not of a visual-vocal sort. Eisenstein (1979, p. 64) suggests how difficult it is today to imagine earlier cultures where relatively few persons had ever seen a physically accurate picture of anything." (Ong, 1982; p. 127)