From a Dry Statement of Facts to a Thing of Beauty: Understanding Aesthetics in the Mapping and Counter-Mapping of Place

Alexander J. Kent

http://dx.doi.org/10.14714/CP73.592

Abstract


Aesthetics plays a key role in cartographic design and is especially significant to the representation of place, whether by the state, the community, the crowd, or the artist. While state topographic mapping today demonstrates a rich diversity of national styles, its evolution (particularly since the Enlightenment) has led to the establishment of a particular aesthetic tradition, which has recently been challenged by counter-mapping initiatives and through map art. This paper explores the function of aesthetics in the cartographic representation of place. It offers an analysis of the aesthetic value of topographic maps and suggests how an appropriate wielding of the aesthetic language of cartography can communicate a sense of place more effectively.

Keywords


Topographic Maps, Aesthetics, Cartographic Design

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