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Which clippings match 'Cartographic Metaphor' keyword pg.1 of 2
23 FEBRUARY 2014

Mercator Projection versus the Gall-Peters Projection Maps

Fig.1 West Wing (television) season 2, episode 16, "Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail".





Arno Peters • cartographic metaphorcartographic representationscartographycultural constructscultural hegemony • cylindrical equal-area projection • equal-area cylindric projection • equal-area map projection • Eurocentric legacy • Gall-Peters Projection Map • geographygraphic representationhistorical narrativeshow we see the worldinformation visualisation • James Gall • map • map design • maps • Mercator Projection Map • metaphors of realityphysical geographypolitics of cartographyprojectionspatial representationspatial symbolismsymbolic meaning • The West Wing (television) • unexamined assumptionsvisual representationworld mapsworld view


Simon Perkins
28 APRIL 2013

Eurocentrism permeates our common cartographic representations

"on most maps, Europe and North America are situated on top–allowing us to believe that these countries are really 'on top of the world'. Africa, Australia and South America are always situated at the bottom. Why never the other way around? Cartographers make assumptions about the world (North is assumed to be at the top) and these assumptions have become normalised and are viewed as 'common sense'.

But these politically embedded assumptions help to structure how we see the world and our place in it. Few of us ever stop to think about the politics of cartography and what it says about Western cultural and economic imperialism and domination. Few ever think how these unexamined assumptions structure the way we see ourselves, to what extent and on what basis we rate our own worth (or supposed, entirely imagined, lack thereof) or how it restricts our imagination and limits the ways in which we think it is possible to excel and thrive in this world."

(Pierre De Vos, 23 April 2013)



Africa • apolitical • assumptionsAustraliaBritish Librarycartographic metaphorcartographic representationscartographychartcultural artefactcultural hegemonycultural imperialism • economic imperialism • economic significance • Eurocentric legacy • Eurocentrism • Europegeopolitical mapgraphic representationhistorical maphistorical narrativeshow we see the worldinformation visualisationinterpretationmapsmetaphors of reality • neo-European • neutralnormalisation process • normalised • North America • Northern hemisphere • objective perspective • our place in the world • physical geography • political assumptions • politics of cartographypost-colonialismpostcolonial • postcoloniality • reterritorialisationSouth AfricaSouth America • Southern hemisphere • standardised classification • The Lie of the Land (exhibition) • the worldthe world around us • top • understanding of the worldunexamined assumptions • visual critique • visual representationworld mapsworld politicsworld view


Simon Perkins
03 MARCH 2013

The trouble with Kant's spatial metaphor

"In consequence of this revolutionary assertion Kant states that: 'Space is not an empirical concept which has been derived from outer experiences.' (B/38) On the contrary: '…it is the subjective condition of sensibility, under which alone outer intuition is possible for us.' (A/26; B/42)

In other words, Kant asserts that space (and time) are not objective, self–subsisting realities, but subjective requirements of our human sensory–cognitive faculties to which all things must conform. Space and time serve as indispensable tools that arrange and systemize the images of the objects imported by our sensory organs. The raw data supplied by our eyes and ears would be useless if our minds didn't have space and time to make sense of it all. ...

Kant's view of space (and time) is the groundwork of his Critique [of Pure Reason], However the inseparable bond he claimed between geometry and the nature of space serves to undermine his case rather than support it. ...

When Kant refers to geometry, he must mean Euclidean geometry, since Non–Euclidean geometry, the brainchild of the 19th Century, was unknown to him. Hence space, in Kant's philosophical system must conform to Euclidean geometry. Norman Kemp Smith, in his Commentary on the Critique, remarked that for Kant '…space in order to be space at all, must be Euclidean.'

Space, in Euclidean Geometry, is a concept which is independent of the attributes of our human minds and senses. The word Geometry is derived from Greek – geo 'earth', and metron 'to measure', namely 'earth measurement'. With such semantic–conceptual roots its hardly conceivable that Euclid regarded Geometry as divorced from an objective independent space."

(Pinhas Ben–Zvi, 2005, Philosophy Now)

Ben–Zvi, P. (2005). "Kant on Space." Philosophy Now, January/February 2005(49).


cartographic metaphor • Critique of Pure Reason • empirical concept • Euclidean geometryeyes and earsgeometryGottfried Leibniz • human minds • human perception • human senses • human sensory-cognitive faculties • Immanuel KantIsaac Newtonlogical-analytical paradigmmetaphors of reality • nature of space • Non-Euclidean geometry • Norman Kemp Smith • noumena • noumenon • objective independent space • objective knowledgeobjective realityobjective world • outer experiences • philosophical system • self-subsisting realities • semantic construct • sensory organs • space and timespatial metaphorsubjective conditiontime


Simon Perkins

Visuo-spatial structuring of non-geographic data

"Maps, as metaphors of reality, may be seen as a natural extension of the organizing principle of human perception––albeit a facet restricted to the spatial percepts. The use of spatial metaphor to define relations between abstract objects or between real–world objects represented in an abstract, hypothetical, space, is so common in digital 'environments' or on the computer 'desktop' that it often goes unrecognized. Such metaphors are too many to be addressed by this paper, which restricts its survey to those commonly found in a cartographic context."

(John L. Old, 2002)

L. John Old (2002). "Information Cartography: Using GIS for visualizing nonspatial data", proceedings of the ESRI International Users Conference.


abstract information spaces • abstract objectsabstractionCartesian • Cartesian coordinate system • cartographic metaphorcartographychart • computer desktop • conceptual spacecoordinate systemcyberspacedatadata visualisationdigital environments • document space • GISgraphic representationhuman perception • hypothetical • information cartographyinformation spaceinformation spacesmapmetaphormetaphors of reality • non-spatial data • orderingreal-world objectsrepresentationspacespatial • spatial data • spatial metaphor • structure information • visual representationvisualisation • visualising • visuo-spatial structuring of information


Simon Perkins
22 MAY 2011

Disciplinary Identities: Professional Writing, Rhetorical Studies, and Rethinking 'English'

"In his concept of 'disciplinary boundary–work,' sociologist Thomas Gieryn offers a useful lens through which to examine the controversies that arose within our department (see also David Russell's discussion of boundary work in the composition/literature split). According to Gieryn, a discipline's representatives strategically shape its boundaries by means of discourse: they articulate the discipline's mission in a certain way, they define a set of characteristic problems to coincide with the discipline's methodologies, they articulate collective values, and they engage in other practices to widen the discipline's scope and strengthen its resources. In Gieryn's approach, the epistemological, ontological, and practical relationship between a discipline and the surrounding culture is interpreted according to a cartographic metaphor. Gieryn employs this familiar metaphor to explain that a discipline relates to other disciplines, and to larger systems of knowledge and activity, in the same manner as a geographic territory relates to neighboring territories and to the larger land mass that encloses it. Furthermore, the relationships between neighboring territories strongly influence the overall health, power, and legitimacy of the involved territories. As such, it is helpful to know how the boundaries between territories are formulated and how they share resources.

What's up for grabs in boundary conflicts is not just traditional 'resources' (such as faculty lines, research funds, courses, and students), but also control over representations of the discipline's central problems, concepts, and methods – that is, the 'rhetorical resources' that disciplines create and maintain in order to solidify their boundaries. Contests over the department's undergraduate curriculum have the potential to shape not only very practical matters like hiring priorities and new course creation, but also the distribution of rhetorical resources – namely, formulations of 'English' as a discipline. One of the primary rhetorical resources in this case is control over the names assigned to different programmatic elements – concentrations, degrees, and so on – of the department."

(Brent Henze, Wendy Sharer and Janice Tovey, 2010, p.70)

Russell, David R. 'Institutionalizing English: Rhetoric on the Boundaries.' Disciplining English: Alternative Histories, Critical Perspectives. Ed. David R. Shumway and Craig Dionne. Albany, NY: SUNY P, 2002. 39–58.

1). Henze, B., W. Sharer, et al. (2010). Disciplinary Identities: Professional Writing, Rhetorical Studies, and Rethinking 'English'. Design Discourse Composing and Revising Programs in Professional and Technical Writing. D. Franke, A. Reid and A. DiRenzo. Fort Collins, Colorado, The WAC Clearinghouse and Parlor Press, LLC. 32.


academic disciplinesboundaries • boundaries between territories • boundary conflicts • boundary work • cartographic metaphor • characteristic problems • classification and framingcollective valuescontextually specific practices • contextually specific texts • control over representations • David Russell • disciplinary boundariesdisciplinary classification • disciplinary discourse • disciplinary identities • disciplinary protectionism • disciplinary resources • disciplinary structures • distributing principles • distribution of rhetorical resources • epistemology • geographic territory • hiring priorities • knowledge territorialisationlegitimate scholarly practicesmethodologiesontology • pedagogic codes • pedagogic recontextualising field • professional writing • research funds • rhetorical resources • rhetorical studies • Thomas Gieryn • undergraduate curriculum


Simon Perkins

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