NUI Maynooth

NUIM ePrints and eTheses Archive

NUIM Library

Rethinking maps

Kitchin, Rob and Dodge, Martin (2007) Rethinking maps. Progress in Human Geography, 31 (3). pp. 331-344. ISSN 0309-1325

[img] Download (61kB)

Abstract

In this paper we argue that cartography is profitably conceived as a processual, rather than representational, science. Building on recent analysis concerning the philosophical underpinnings of cartography we question the ontological security of maps, contending that it is productive to rethink cartography as ontogenetic in nature; that is maps emerge through practices and have no secure ontological status. Drawing on the concepts of transduction and technicity we contend that maps are of-themoment, brought into being through practices (embodied, social, technical); that mapping is a process of constant re-territorialization. Maps are never fully formed and their work is never complete. Maps are transitory and fleeting, being contingent, relational and context-dependent; they are always mappings; spatial practices enacted to solve relational problems (e.g., how best to create a spatial representation, how to understand a spatial distribution, how to get between A and B, and so on). Such a rethinking, we contend, provides a fresh perspective on cartographic epistemology, and could work to provide a common framework for those who undertake mapping as applied knowledge (asking technical questions) and those that seek to critique such mapping as a form of power/knowledge (asking ideological questions). We illustrate our argument through an analysis of mapping practices.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Preprint version of original published article, © 2007 SAGE Publications: doi: 10.1177/0309132507077082
Keywords: cartography; maps; practice; ontology; ontogenesis;
Subjects: Social Sciences > Geography
Social Sciences > NIRSA-National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis
Item ID: 2755
Identification Number: doi: 10.1177/0309132507077082
Depositing User: Prof. Rob Kitchin
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2011 13:59
Journal or Publication Title: Progress in Human Geography
Publisher: Sage
Refereed: No
URI:

Repository Staff Only(login required)

View Item Item control page

Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...