The Cartography Of Geopolitical Chaos

COUNTRIES USE MAPS TO MAKE THEIR CASE FOR TERRITORIAL SOVEREIGNTY, BUT CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN CARTOGRAPHY COMPLICATE THE PROCESS.

Every map in some way reflects the biases of how its cartographer sees the world–enforcing the arbitrary notion that north should be at the top of the map, or skewing our perception of how big Africa really is. Sometimes, these cartographical biases even shape political borders.

Starting in 1885, the British (who colonized Burma) spent decades negotiating over the border between Burma, its colony, and Burma’s northern neighbor, China. The two countries’ very different approaches to cartography in the late 19th century played a role in shaping the border, according to new research from Eric Vanden Bussche, a Ph.D candidate in history at Stanford University.

“The Chinese understood the function of maps differently from the British,” Vanden Bussche told Stanford News. “Chinese mapmaking practices did not emphasize mathematical projections. For the Chinese, a map was a broad illustration of a region based on written sources.” For instance, 19th-century Chinese maps depicted landmarks and trade routes, but didn’t feature distance measurements.

A map of the Yunnan province dating from the Qing dynasty, which lasted until 1911.National Palace Museum, Taiwan

Xue Fecheng, a Chinese diplomat in London in the 1890s, “was aware that the map was the medium through which the Europeans constructed and negotiated space,” Vanden Bussche says. “He had to use a map rather than written sources to advance Chinese territorial claims.”

 

Neither side had accurately surveyed all the land in question, since much of it was controlled by chieftains who would change allegiance between Burma and China regularly. Much of the border drawn, therefore, just went through blank space on the map. But both countries tried to adopt each other’s mapping practices to be more persuasive about their territorial claims. They based their claims on their own methods of mapping, but the Chinese produced maps that resembled British maps, and the British relied on the written descriptions produced by Chinese gazetteers. “There is a very big effort on both sides to draw on each other’s spatial paradigms and notions of territorial sovereignty in order to make their demands palatable to the other side,” he says.

And Vanden Bussche points out that these kind of disputes aren’t a thing of the past. China is still engaged in a border dispute with India, and istussling with Japan over a group of islands in the East China Sea and with the Philippines over territorial claims over parts of the South China Sea–and China is still using maps like this one to make its case. Our knowledge of geography may have expanded considerably since the 1890s–thanks to satellites, you can examine the topographical features of land half a world away–but when it comes to drawing up the maps, there’s still no such thing as objectivity.

Read more about his research from Stanford News.

Un mapa de olores en vivo, de la ciudad de Nueva York

http://gawker.com/201431/new-york-city-subway-smell-map-live-and-in-your-face 

We asked, and you answered. Presenting the New York City Subway Smell Map, created with the able assistance of Gawker readers universe-wide. We’ve separated hundreds of reader smell reports into ten distinct categories of aromas: food, feces, vomit, sewage, perfume, alcohol, you name it. Glide your mouse over any subway station on the map to see the station name, subway lines, and smell categories. Click, and the popup expands to reveal Zagat-style excerpts from actual reader reports. Careful study and rote memorization of the smell map will allow you to navigate the subway system without even opening your eyes. Of course, you’ll have to train your nose to distinguish the local urine varietals at each station, but that’s a small price to pay. Note also that the map remains open to future submissions for stations not yet covered or stations currently under-covered. All due props to consummate mapmaker Will James at onNYTurf for use of his elegant subway map. Enjoy this finely interactive and cartographic work of investigative service journalism.

 

UPDATE: Hey, look, the map is fixed! Now it really works really well. For reals.

Gawker New York City Subway Smell Map

2a Sesión del Seminario de Análisis y Representación Espacial 2014 UAM-C

Saludos a todos:

En el Dropbox  subí el artículo de “Information Flaneur: A fresh look of information seeking” escrito por Marian Dörk, un investigador  en visualización de datos que propone un enfoque interdisciplinario de búsqueda de la información basado en el concepto de “explorador urbano”. Marian presenta a la exploración como una guía para los principios de diseño y destaca los retos de la representación de información de datos abstractos y detallados en una investigación.

Así mismo les comparto las ligas que mencionamos ayer y la próxima clase hablaremos de los tema que tocan: como “Information Scent”, “Análisis Cultural”, “Shneiderman’s Mantra”, entre otros.

Les comparto mis apuntes visuales respecto al tema.

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Ligas:

El Podcast de donde salió la información:

Datastori.es
Un podcast de visualización de datos de Enrico Bertini y Moritz Stefaner.
http://datastori.es/

Data Stories #30: The Information Flaneur w/ Marian Dörk
http://datastori.es/data-stories-30-the-information-flaneur-w-marian-dork/

PATINA Project

Un proyecto para revolucionar el diseño de las tecnologías para la investigación. Premiado por Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) y Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) a través del programa de RCUK Digital Economy.

Pivot Paths
Una herramienta visualización de datos interactiva, que explora nuevas maneras de visualizer la información en este caso del context de artículos académicos y actors y generos de películas.  Explora lo que denomina “faceted relations”.
http://mariandoerk.de/pivotpaths/

Lev Manovich – Análisis cultural
Nos presentan nuevas formas de visualizar la información de datos culturales.http://lab.softwarestudies.com/p/cultural-analytics.html

Librería Manly de estudios locales
Un catálogo de imagines que responde al concepto de “Geneorous interface”
http://mtchl.net/manlyimages/

Cartel Cómo llegar a la UAM Cuajimalpa

Les comparto el mapa que generó una alumna Yosune Chamizo Alberro de la MADIC (Maestría en Diseño, Información y Comunicación) de la DCCD de nuestra Universidad, sobre las trayectorias en transporte publico a la Nueva Sede.

Este cartel esta pegado en unas vitrinas en el 6to piso pero si quieren la versión en alta definición se los puedo hacer llegar o subir a este blog. Pueden difundirlo pues creo que en estos momentos es de gran utilidad.

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Mapping history: How Google Maps and Nat Geo are layering old and new space (just like today’s TED Talk)

Muy interesante idea sobre el poder de narrativa de los mapas

TED Blog

Frederic Kaplan has found an unconventional way to build a time machine. Rather than making a metal object (or, uh, a police call box) that whisks you through time and space, he wondered: Could a time machine be built out of information?

In today’s TED Talk, filmed at TEDxCaFoscariU, Kaplan previews the Venice Time Machine, a collaboration between Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne and Ca’ Fosari University, to make a geographical and historical simulation of this incredible city, whose past is perhaps the most well-documented in the world. The project is digitizing 80 kilometers of archives to re-create spaces that are now lost to time.

In a similar vein, Google recently opened up its Google Maps Engine, which lets ordinary people add rich data to Google Maps, so that “together we can organize the world’s geospatial information and make it accessible.” Last month, they revealed that…

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