Maps and Atlases as Mediators and Producers of Spatial Knowledge under the Global Condition
Research AreaHuman Geography / Humangeographie, Cartography / Kartographie
Phase 2 (2020 – 2023)
The project examines maps and atlases as effective media for the imagination of spatial images. Investigating the communication of spatial knowledge under the global condition, we are interested in processes of standardization in the visual representation, the formatting, and the notion of space in different societies. For this purpose, we investigate “map languages”, atlas construction principles, transnational harmonization of the educational goals of cartographers, as well as the international networks of atlas makers. For the second funding phase, we add the aspect of the digital transformation of society.
Phase 1 (2016 – 2019)
Maps of Globalization: The Production and the Visualization of Spatial Knowledge
Maps are used all over the world as a means of not only communicating information and knowledge but also imagination. As such, they also convey perceptions of “globalization”. Yet, very few maps or other graphical representations of “globalization” are distributed worldwide. This project examines the production and reproduction of perceptions and knowledge about “globalization” through different visualizations. For this purpose, we analyse (carto)graphical visualizations from the 1860s until today, especially comparing examples from Francophone and from Chinese origins. The authors or users of these visualizations themselves claim to depict concepts, states, or processes initially of “globality” and later of globalization. Therefore, our project analyses the languages and visualization techniques used in creating maps together with the expressed as well as the absent spatial formats and/or spatial orders.