Cartographic speed, slow maps, and muscular coordination

Authors: Matthew Wilson*, University of Kentucky
Topics: Cartography, Geographic Thought, Geography Education
Keywords: education, teaching, attention, maps, cartography, Raisz
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: 8223, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In the context of a frenetic digital culture, what might it mean to attend to questions of speed in cartography? In this presentation, I ruminate on the concept of slow maps, to better understand the rapid pace of cartographic experimentation and development in the last century. I examine the writings and drawings of Erwin Raisz, including his exercises in muscular coordination, to suggest the pedagogical importance of cartography in the early-to-mid-20th century. The new challenge of cartographic practice is a renewal of a pre-digital challenge: to produce an affective mode in mapmaking, not limited to a singular and universally-receivable map message. At stake is how we might think the linkages between cartography and geography today, to amplify the work of drawing, diagramming, and mapmaking.

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