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Posted inArt

How Cartography Helped Make Colonial Empires

If you want to claim a territory, it’s good to have a map to show what’s yours. Defining Lines: Cartography in the Age of Empire at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University examines how maps were a form of political control and public perception by Western colonial powers from the 16th and 20th centuries.

Posted inArt

What Are We Still Mapping For?

When I was a kid, my father kept a dog-eared street map of the Dallas metroplex in his truck’s glove compartment. As a contractor who spent hours driving each day, this atlas was his North Star — a point of reference for navigating the city’s chaotic, concrete sprawl. Today, the cartographic tradition that his homely map belonged to — spanning millenniums from the early Phoenicians to Amerigo Vespucci and Lewis and Clark — is rapidly changing. I now find my way through New York by following a tiny, triangular point on an iPhone screen. In an age of new technology, information, and globalization, maps are no longer mere objects, and they increasingly represent immaterial worlds. This shifting understanding of time and space is reflected in Contemporary Cartographies, a group show at CUNY’s Lehman College Art Gallery in the Bronx.

Posted inOpinion

Stereotyping People’s Stereotypes of the World

LOS ANGELES — Satirical maps have a powerful way of stereotyping the stereotypes people have. Which is why Bulgarian graphic designer Yank Tsvetkov’s map designs have a particular bite. His Mapping Stereotypes series claims to be “The Ultimate Bigot’s Calendar,” with perspectives of Europe and the world as seen by such varied entities as the Vatican and the United States.

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