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The Art of Cartography


Cartography is man’s attempt to communicate spatial information in a symbolic form that is easy to understand and interpret. It involves things like scale, projection, and orientation. In order to create a beautiful and accurate map, a cartographer must balance several different areas.

First, they must determine the area and the objects to be mapped, or the map’s agenda. This is known as map editing. It answers the question of whether the cartographer is making a topographical world map or a demographic map of Asia.

Then, a cartographer will begin to translate the three dimensional world unto the flat surface of the map. How to depict a mountain on a piece of paper was a quandary for centuries. With the advent of computer mapping, which allows for three dimensional representations, this becomes less of a problem than a simple step added to the process.

Cartographers then go through several steps of eliminating irrelevant features and characteristics. To accomplish this, they keep in mind the content and intent of the map that was established in the first step. Features that are irrelevant to a political map of england , such as detailed topographical data, are excluded. The goal is to reduce the complexity of the map until only the truly essential features remain.

The final concern of cartography is to depict the elements of the map in a harmonious and appealing fashion. A great cartographer will tell the story of the map in the most aesthetically pleasing way.

posted by Aisha in Geography and have No Comments

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