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Bernard Bailyn, Director

A Guide to Recent Trends in the History of Cartography

Matthew H. Edney
Osher Map Library
University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME 04104-9301 edney@usm.maine.edu
Atlantic History Seminar, 24-25 April 1999


The discipline of the history of cartography has undergone substantial expansion in both its
institutional and intellectual identities. This has caused something of a divergence between, on the one
hand, the traditional, highly descriptive, and theoretically unreflective cartographic historians and, on the other, the more critical and analytical historians who have largely been motivated by the challenges set by the late Brian Harley. The precise patterns of this reconfiguration are complicated by the expansion of cartographic research beyond cartography and geography into fields such as literary studies, art history, and the history of science. There remain a few staunch, hard-core "empiricists," but most historians of cartography per se are steadily moving into more analytical modes of research and writing; the most theoretically inclined practitioners come either from the younger generation of cartographic scholars or from other disciplinary backgrounds. These disciplinary shifts are clearly evident in the field's principal journal, Imago Mundi.

The history of cartography is today in a difficult position: there are just too few energetic and
serious researchers who are able to tackle the vast task of reinterpreting cartographic history along critical lines. The best literature available comprises either journal essays or specialized texts (especially those coming out of the University of Chicago Press). General texts which are the primary introductory vehicle to the subject for "outsiders" remain antiquated and riddled with misleading perspectives. The massive History of Cartography project is proceeding apace, but will not be completed anytime soon. In the meantime, the best access to new interpretations of the field are still discussions in conferences and seminars.

Basic Gateways to the Discipline

The History of Cartography. Series editor David Woodward. 6 volumes in many books. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1987- .

This monumental, multi-author project presents a synthesis of research to date on cartographies
across cultures and societies, with the goal of creating a new basis from which future research
will proceed. Volumes published to date are:
1 Cartography in Prehistoric, Ancient, and Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean, edited by J. B. Harley and David Woodward (1987).
2.1 Cartography in the Traditional Islamic and South Asian Societies, edited byJ. B. Harley and David Woodward (1992).
2.2 Cartography in the Traditional East and Southeast Asian Societies, edited by J. B. Harley and David Woodward (1994).
2.3 Cartography in the Traditional African, American, Arctic, Australian, and Pacific Societies, edited by David Woodward and G. Malcolm Lewis (1998).

Imago Mundi: The International Journal for the History of Cartography

The key journal in the field, issued once a year. In addition to scholarly essays and book reviews, each issue also includes an indexed bibliography of recent publications in the field.

Kretschmer, Ingrid, Johannes Dorflinger, and Franz Wawrik, eds. Lexikon zur Geschichte der Kartographie von den Anfiingen his zum ersten Weltkrieg. Section C of Enzyklopiidie der Kartographie, ed. Erik Amberger. 2 vols. Vienna: Franz Deuticke, 1986.

An indispensable guide to the topic, arranged in dictionary form. Each article is written by an acknowledged expert and is accompanied by references. It is, however, in German.

Lowenthal, Mary Alice, ed. D9: Who's Who in the History of Cartography: An International Directory of Current Research. Tring, Hefts.: Map Collector Publications, 1998.

A listing of scholars from across the disciplines who are currently interested in map history; each scholar provides a listing of their research interests and of their publications since the previous volume (D8, 1995). Previous volumes---issued at two- or three-year intervals---provide an essential resource for tracking individual and group research projects.

General Histories of Cartography

(a) Academic Histories

The following works have constructed the intellectual character of traditional cartographic history. That is to say, they are all written from an empiricist and progressivist perspective and must accordingly be used with care.

Bagrow, Leo. History of Cartography. Translated by D. L. Paisley. Revised and enlarged by R. A. Skelton. 2nd ed. Chicago: Precedent Publishing, 1985.

The classic, but now outdated, general history by the founder of Imago Mundi. Originally written before 1939, it was not published until 1951. The first translation from German to English was appeared in 1960, Skelton's revision and extension in 1964.

Brown, Lloyd A. The Story of Maps. New York, 1949. Reprint, New York: Dover, 1979.

The only general cartographic history to pay close attention to the mathematical aspects and large
institutions of cartographic history. Although seriously out of date, it remains in wide circulation.

Thrower, Norman J. W. Maps and Civilization: Cartography in Culture and Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Despite the title, this is very much an historical summary in the traditional mode. This is a second edition, with few changes, of the original 1972 work published under the title Maps and Man . . . .

Wallis, Helen, and Arthur H. Robinson, eds. Cartographical Innovations: An International Handbook of Mapping Terms to 1900. Tring, Herts.: Map Collector Publications for the International Cartographic Association, 1987.

This work typifies the "internalist" approach to cartographic history, emphasizing as it does technical issues of particular interest to post-1945 academic cartography. Each essay explores the first appearance of a particular technique, usually in either the Classical era or in early modern Europe. Little attention is paid to the dissemination and general adoption of each technique. The bibliographies are useful.

(b) Popular and Derivative Histories
The following works should be used only for background reading and are rarely, if ever, admissible as sources.

Berthon, Simon, and Andrew Robinson. The Shape of the World: The Mapping and Discovery of the Earth. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1991.

Based on a television series by Granada (UK) and PBS, this book does not attempt a universal coverage for the topic, but opts for ten particular episodes or themes. It is semi-popular in nature,
for obvious reasons; intellectually, it is highly indebted to Wilford's problematic book, The Mapmakers (below).

Goss, John J. S. The Mapmaker's Art: An Illustrated History of Cartography. London: Studio Editions, 1993.

Lots of illustrations; highly derivative.

Hodgkiss, Alan G. Understanding Maps: A Systematic History of their Use and Development. Folkestone, Kent: Dawson, 1981.

Rather than following the more usual chronological approach, Hodgkiss traces through the
history of specific mapping genres. In this respect, it is the most successful of the derivative histories. Unfortunately each comparative essay is rather brief to be anything more than a useful introduction. It is well illustrated.

Wilford, John Noble. The Mapmakers: The Story of the Great Pioneers in Cartography from Antiquity to the Space Age. New York: Vintage Books, 1982.

This is a very popular summary, which gives excessive attention to the "progress" of cartography from an art to a science. The author is the principal science correspondent of the New York Times and the book has the unmistakable feel of journalistic popular science writing. It is highly derivative and very poorly referenced.


Skelton, R. A. Maps: A Historical Survey of their Study and Collecting. Chicago: University of Chicago
Press, 1972.

A key study of the development of map collecting and the associated study of early maps, by one of the most prominent cartographic historians of the period 1940-1970. Published after Skelton's death, it includes a complete bibliography of his published works.

Harley, J. B. "Imago Mundi: The First Fifty Years and the Next Ten." Cartographica 23, no. 3 (1986): l- IS.

A broad overview and critical analysis of the history of the only international journal in cartographic history and a key institution in the discipline. Particular attention is given to the manner in which the journal has defined the character of the field.

Harley, J. B. "The Map and the Development of the History of Cartography." In Cartography in Prehistoric, Ancient, and Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean, edited by J. B. Harley and David Woodward, 1-42. Volume 1 of The History of Cartography. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.

This is a thorough account of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century origins of the history of cartography (among map collectors, national map librarians, and historians of geography) and of attempts since 1945 to establish the subject as an independent discipline. It is essential reading for any student seeking to understand the major phases in the field's literature.

Harley, J. B., and David Woodward. "Why Cartography Needs its History." The American Cartographer 16 (1989): 5-15.

A justification of the history of cartography from the perspective of the academic discipline of cartography. Response to the paper has been minimal, perhaps because the history of cartography has never been a handmaiden for cartography.

Key Theoretical Essays by Brian Harley

It is an over generalization to claim that Brian Harley was the person responsible for promoting a critical spirit among historians of cartography, but he is nonetheless the most visible critic and his work has been influential across several academic disciplines. When he began his critical assessment of mapping practices, Harley inadvertently opened a Pandora's Box. Through the 1980s he tried to come to terms with a wide array of new ideas; as a result, his essays can be difficult to read, as he moved from concept to concept with almost bewildering speed. I have categorized the following list in order to give some context for understanding them.

(a) Research Methodology and the Evaluation of Evidence

Harley, J. B. "Uncultivated Fields in the History of British Cartography." The Cartographic Journal 4 (1967): 7-11.

Harley, J. B. "The Evaluation of Early Maps: Towards a Methodology." Imago Mundi 22 (1968): 62-74.

These two essays constituted Harley's early attempt at instilling some methodological and interpretive rigor in the content-analysis of early maps. Such concerns remained of great interest to Harley for the remainder of his career, but would later be overshadowed in print by his overtly theoretical essays.

(b) Theoretical Statements Derived from Communication Models and Iconology
Blakemore, Michael J., and J. B. Harley. "Concepts in the History of Cartography: A Review and Perspective." Edited by Edward H. Dahl. Cartographica 17, no. 4 (1980): Monograph 26.

Blakemore, Michael J., and J. B. Harley. "The Authors Reply." In "Concepts in the History of Cartography: Some Responses, with the Authors' Reply, Especially to Questions of Definition," edited by B. V. Gutsell, 77-96. Cartographica 19, no. 1 (1981): 66-96.

In many ways the manifesto for a new, theoretically informed discipline, "Concepts" presented a highly significant overview and critique of traditional approaches and methodologies in cartographic history. Blakemore and Harley particularly criticized cartographic historians for structuring their studies according to three, unacknowledged intellectual frameworks: the "Darwinian," "Old-is-Beautiful," and "Nationalist" "paradigms." In their place, they argued for a "linguistic" approach to conceptualizing maps and map making. They particularly advocated an iconological methodology (based on Panofsky) for analyzing "map language." (Harley subsequently developed this idea into more sophisticated theories derived from Foucault, Derrida, etc.)

Harley, J. B. "Meaning and Ambiguity in Tudor Cartography." In English Map-Making, 1500-1650: Historical Essays, edited by Sarah Tyacke, 22-45. London: The British Library, 1983.

Harley, J. B. "The Iconology of Early Maps." In Imago et Mensura Mundi: Afti del IX Congresso Internazionale di Storia della Cartografia, edited by Carla C. Marzoli, 1: 29-38. 2 vols. Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 1985.

Both of these essays were originally presented in 1981,just as Concepts was first published. They present further statements of an iconological approach to studying maps. The 1983 essay also includes indications of Harley's increasing interest in structural linguistics and in the conscious manipulation of a map's image by its makers in order to impart specific meanings (not really part of Panofsky's understanding of iconology).

Harley, J. B. "Historical Geography and its Evidence: Reflections on Modelling Sources." In Period and Place: Research Methods in Historical Geography, edited by A. R. H. Baker and Mark Billinge, 261-73 I and 354-57. Cambridge Studies in Historical Geography, 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982. Reprinted in Historical Geography: A Methodological Portrayal, edited by D. Brooks Green (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 1991),347-62.

A key essay at the cusp of Harley's movement from an empiricist conception of cartography to one explicitly rooted in structuralism. In particular, Harley advocated an understanding of cartographic communication in terms of linguistic structuralism, undermining his simultaneous writings (in Concepts and associated essays) on iconology.

(c) Theoretical Statements reflecting Poststructuralist Positions

Harley, J. B. "Maps, Knowledge, and Power." In The Iconography of Landscape: Essays on the Symbolic
Representation, Design and Use of Past Environments
, edited by Denis Cosgrove and Stephen Daniels, 277-312. Cambridge Studies in Historical Geography, 9. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Harley, J. B. "Silences and Secrecy: The Hidden Agenda of Cartography in Early Modem Europe."
Imago Mundi 40 (1988): 57-76.

Two landmark essays that introduced the history of cartography to some of the ideas of Michel Foucault. The level of analysis in either paper is not particularly great; both papers should be understood as demonstration pieces. In the first, Harley presented a series of examples of how maps and map making embodied various cultural ideologies and served as tools of the modern state; in the second, Harley developed the question of knowledge/power further in terms of the particular formation and reading of "white spaces" on maps.

Harley, J. B. "Power and Legitimation in the English Geographical Atlases of the Eighteenth Century." In, Images of the World: The Atlas Through History, edited by John A. Wolter and Ron E. Grim, 161- 204. New York: McGraw-Hill for the Library of Congress, 1997.

This paper was originally presented in 1984 and subsequently went through substantial revision until its final form in 1988. It comprises an analysis of a particular cartographic mode in terms of Harley's conception of Foucault's power/knowledge. Harley drew a distinction between the "internal power" of maps (their structuring and codification) and their "external power" (as ideological tools).

Harley, J. B. "Deconstructing the Map." Cartographica 26, no. 2 (1989): 1-20. Reprinted in Human
Geography: An Essential Anthology, edited by John Agnew, David N. Livingstone, and Alisdair Rogers (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996),422-43. Reprinted, with slight modifications, in Writing Worlds: Discourse,
Text, and Metaphor in the Representation of Landscape
, edited by Trevor J. Barnes and James S. Duncan (London: Routledge, 1992),231-47.

Harley, J. B. "Cartography, .Ethics and Social Theory." Cartographica 27, no. 2 (1990): 1-23.

These are the last two theoretical statements by Harley, but by no means are they the climax to his numerous ,essays through the 1980s. They constitute a highly polemical critique---merging
Harley's established interest in Foucault with a new (and equally incomplete) interest in
Derridean deconstruction---that establishes modern maps to be totalizing representations.
Harley's particular interest was to criticize modern academic cartography more than to reflect on cartographic history.

Harley, J. B. "Historical Geography and the Cartographic Illusion." Journal of Historical Geography 15 (1989): 80-91.

Perhaps the most successful of Harley's later, overtly poststructuralist essays. It works because of his focus on a particular issue: the manner in which historical geographers have used maps--- without critical reflection---as a fundamental means to organize and display their data. Of all Harley's essays, this most nearly adopts a constructivist understanding of cartographic representation.

Harley, J. B. "Introduction: Text and Contexts in the Interpretation of Early Maps." In From Sea Charts
to Satellite Images: Interpreting North American History through Maps,
edited by David Buisseret, 3-15. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.

A summary essay which introduces historians to a variety of theoretical positions for understanding maps. Its restatement of iconography is quite out of place, given Harley's theoretical realignment after 1984; Harley included this restatement in order to provide an uncontroversial demonstration of the cultural reading of maps to potentially conservative historians.

Other Theoretical Statements
Reference should also be made to several works which possess significant theoretical components and
which are listed in the following sections on indigenous cartographies and on suggestive and significant works.

Andrews, J. H. Meaning, Knowledge and Power in the Map Philosophy of J: B. Harley. Trinity Papers in Geography, 6. Dublin: Department of Geography, Trinity College Dublin., 1994.

The only assessment of the Harley's theoretical ideas, from the perspective of an anti-theoretical empiricist. Andrews really engages in academic sleight-of-hand; claiming to address Harley's
theories, he actually only tackles the manifestations of those theories and does not come to terms with Harley's conceptions of maps and map making.

Belyea, Barbara. "Images of Power: Derrida, Foucault, Harley." Cartographica 29, no. 2 (1992): 1-9.

A significant critique of Harley's later arguments, based on an extensive reading of Foucault and Derrida. Belyea argues, like Wood, that Harley was too selective in his use of Foucault and Derrida so that his theories were incomplete. Unlike Wood, Belyea is a poststructuralist.

Edney, Matthew H. "Cartography without 'Progress': Reinterpreting the Nature and Historical Development of Mapmaking." Cartographica 30, nos. 2&3 (1993): 54-68.

A critique of the empiricist foundations of modern cartography and of the progressivist conception of cartography's past. This paper proposes an alternative conception of 'modes of cartographic production' which directs attention towards complexes of technological, social, and cultural factors in the construction of geographic/cartographic knowledge.

Jacob, Christian. L 'Empire des cartes: Approche theorique de la cartographie a travers l'histoire. Paris: Bibliotheque Albin Michel, 1992.

A lengthy, challenging, and widely acclaimed critical analysis of the nature and role of maps in classical, medieval, and early modern Europe. Jacob is a principal proponent of the 'constructivist' approach to knowledge formation. In French; soon to appear in English.

King, Geoff. Mapping Reality: An Exploration of Cultural Cartographies. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996.

A frustrating text that glides through the many interconnections of "mapping" and society and culture but which does not really get to grips with its subject. Although King's argument is itself useful---that the map/territory relationship has always been arbitrary---he is insufficiently rigorous and lacks the pithy turn of phrase which would make this a quotable work.

Pickles, John. "Texts, Hermeneutics and Propaganda Maps." In Writing Worlds: Discourse, Text and
Metaphor in the Representation of Landscape
, edited by Trevor J. Barnes and James S. Duncan, 193-230. London: Routledge, 1992.

In presenting a conceptual approach to managing propaganda maps, Pickles presents a very useful critique of the empiricist ideology of modern cartography. Of key interest is his use of hermeneutics to explore the issue of the functioning of propaganda through the repeated exposure of an audience to (cartographic) images.

"Theoretical Aspects of the History of Cartography: A Discussion of Concepts, Approaches and New
Directions." Imago Mundi 48 (1996): 185-205.

A suite of essays originally presented in a special session at the International Conference in the History of Cartography, Vienna, 1995, by Matthew Edney ("Theory and the History of Cartography"), Christian Jacob ("Toward a Cultural History of Cartography"), and Catherine Delano Smith ("Why Theory in the History of Cartography"). Jacob promotes a constructivist understanding of maps and geographical knowledge; Delano Smith addresses the nature of "history" and the requirement to pursue theory; Edney lays out the unrecognized theories that have shaped studies in cartographic history and also argues for a constructivist approach.

Wood, Denis. "The Fine Line Between Mapping and Mapmaking." Cartographica 30,4 (1993): 50-60.

In critiquing Harley's later theories, Wood convincingly argues that Harley failed because he was unable to fully adopt poststructuralist arguments. Wood himself follows Barthes in straddling the structuralist/poststructuralist divide; most of his historical essays attempt a cognitive/semiotic explanation of cartography's underlying structures, but he does at times wander into poststructural conceptions of discourse.

Wood, Denis. The Power of Maps. New York: Guilford, 1992.

A wide-ranging and seminal introduction to the naturalization of maps within modern western culture. Emphasis is on the situation of the later twentieth century, but is broadly applicable to the 1800s and 1900s. Wood's perspective is a combination of three factors: (1) maps as a form of communication; (2) individual spatial frameworks (so-called 'mental maps'); and (3) a broad analogy to biological evolution. Included within this work is Wood's and John Fel's important introduction to a semiology of maps (along Barthean lines); their initial analysis of a state road - map is a particularly effective challenge to several of academic cartography's enshrined misconceptions of the nature of map communication.

Indigenous Cartographies

A key component in the critique of modern, western cartography is the attempt to understand mapping practices in non-western cultures. Much of the work has been undertaken in an anthropological vein, studying indigenous cartographies on their own terms. However, much has been done to compare
different cartographic cultures explicitly. A further element of special interest to historians of discovery as well as to cultural and cartographic historians, is the analysis of western/indigenous contact processes and their effects on knowledge and maps; this is especially important because most indigenous cartographic materials have survived only through the contact process. There is a growing literature, especially with regard to North American contexts, which cannot be listed here in its entirety. Instead, I provide what I think are the most significant essays, especially in terms of our theoretical understanding of maps and map making, and the bibliographic entry points.

Reference must also be made to the published volumes of The History of Cartography (above), to Turn- bull's Maps are Territories and to Mundy's Mapping of New Spain (below).

De Vorsey, Louis, Jr. "American Indians and the Early Mapping of the Southeast." In William P. Cumming, The Southeast in Early Maps, 65-98. 3d edition. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.

This general overview of interactions between English colonists and indiginous peoples, in the area south of Virginia, includes a useful list of diagnostics for identifying indigenous information in European maps.

Harley, J. B. "New England Cartography and the Native Americans." In American Beginnings: Exploration, Culture, and Cartography in the Land of Norumbega, edited by Edwin A. Churchill
Emerson W. Baker, Richard D' Abate, Kristine L. Jones, Victor A. Konrad, and Harald E. L. Prins, 287- 313. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994.

Harley, J. B. "Rereading the Maps of the Columbian Encounter." Edited by Karl W. Butzer and William M. Denevan. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 82 (1992): 522-36.

Two essays on the interactions of indigenous peoples and European adventurers and settlers. Both are primarily concerned with the ideological character of European mapping practices, but both also address issues of "native resistance" to the European imposition on, and appropriation of, the Americas.

Lewis, G. Malcolm, ed. Cartographic Encounters: Perspectives on Native American Mapmaking and Map Use. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

A fundamental problem in studying Native American map making is that few "pure" artefacts have survived; almost all indigenous maps were either produced at the behest of, or were collected by, Europeans. The study of Native American map making is thus inseparable from the conditions and circumstances of the "encounter" between Europeans and Native Americans. These essays, most originating in the 1993 Nebenzahl lectures, include an extensive bibliographic review.

Orlove, Benjamin. "Mapping Reeds and Reading Maps: The Politics of Representation in Lake Titicaca."
American Ethnologist, 18, no. 1 (1991): 3-38.

Orlove, Benjamjn; "The Ethnography of Maps: The Cultural and Social Contexts of Cartographic Representation in Peru." Cartographica 30, no.l (1993): 29-46.

These essays direct attention not only to the socially induced differences in map function, map production, and map use, but also to what Orlove calls the "ethnography" of map reading. His particular study analyzes the differences between the cartographic culture of Andean peasants and Peruvian bureaucrats. These are two wonderful essays to bring home the idea of differing cultural expectations about the nature of maps.

Rundstrom, Robert A. "Mapping, Postmodernism, Indigenous People, and the Changing Direction of North American Cartography." Cartographica 28, no. 2 (1991): 1-12.

A key essay in using the lessons posed by an understanding of indigenous cartographies to criticize and re-examine western cartographies. Of particular relevance is Rundstrom's distinction between "inscriptive" and "incorporative" cultures and the implications for the understanding of the representation of spatial knowledge in each.


A fundamental component of research in the history of cartography is the comprehensive "cartobiblio-
graphy." Often misunderstood as the preserve of obsessive librarians and scholar-collectors, detailed listings of maps are nonetheless essential for understanding the full scope of any research project.
Published cartobibliographies are mostly organized by region or by archival collection, but many focus on the work of an individual cartographer or a period of map production. Many cartobibliographies are little more than lists; three recent works, however, demonstrate the high level of scholarship that is possible with cartobibliography.

Cumming, William P. The Southeast in Early Maps. Edited by Louis De Vorsey, Jr. 3d edition. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.

A classic work, newly updated by the present expert on the mapping of the American Southeast. De Vorsey has added those maps that have come to light since the second edition (published in 1962), has expanded the references and illustrations, and has incorporated new research into the descriptions of each map. More importantly, De Vorsey has added an essay on the interactions between Native Americans and colonial settlers, and the significance of those interactions for the construction of geographical information. A key element in Cumming's initial plan for the work was the inclusion of both manuscript and printed maps.

Karrow, Robert W. Mapmakers of the Sixteenth Century and Their Maps: Bio-Bibliographies of the
Cartographers of Abraham Ortelius
, 1570. Chicago: Speculum Orbis Press for The Newberry Library, 1993.

Now the starting point for any research into any of the map makers whose work was used for the first edition of Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (1570), the first "modern atlas." It possesses a thorough bibliography of secondary literature and is well indexed. This work defines the standard for all new biographical dictionaries and cartobibliographical studies in the history of cartography.

Significant or Suggestive Works on Cartographic History

The following list is in no way comprehensive. I have identified those works, in addition to any
mentioned above, which I think are significant because they have expanded the scope of the field; have provided new insights; have proven useful in my teaching; or, are exemplary or cautionary models for doing cartographic history.

Brotton, Jerry. Trading Territories: Mapping the Early Modern World London: Reaktion Books, 1997; New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998.

This book has received some currency recently. Brotton' s discussion of the other side of the Treaty of Tordesillas---where did the Spanish/Portuguese territorial divide fall in East Asia?--- addresses a significant question long ignored by historians of cartography. Unfortunately, the rest of the book is substantially marred by Brotton's lack of historical and cartographic awareness and by his tendency to load a great deal of strongly worded evaluation onto very little evidence. Overall, the book is a prime example of what happens when a scholar crosses into a new discipline without due care and attention.

Buisseret, David, ed. Monarchs, Ministers, and Maps: The Emergence of Cartography as a Tool of Government in Early Modem Europe. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

The quality of the essays in this volume is variable, as is the authors' conception of government (king or bureaucracy?). Nonetheless, this collection opened up a whole new arena of historical research. Of special note are Barber's meticulously referenced essays on the English bureaucracy and Vann's unfortunately brief essay on the territorial conceptions of the Austrian Habsburg empire.

Carter, Paul. The Road to Botany Bay: An Essay in Spatial History. London: Faber and Faber, 1987; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989.

This brilliant work was initially swamped by all the other books marking Australia's centenary, but has since gained a loyal following. Carter introduces the idea of "spatial history" as an antidote to the prevailing mode of ' 'imperial history"; that is, land is not a static and unproblematic arena within which history unfolds, but rather the shifting configurations of the land in text, graphics, and cartographics has a history in its own right, a history which undermines the mythic ideologies of regular history.

Conley, Tom. The Self-Made Map: Cartographic Writing in Early Modern France. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996.

Conley expands our approach to early modern cartography by matching the then inherently spatial form of printed text to the inherently textual nature of spatial representations. His particular concern is to trace the interrelations between the dramatic rise in mapping practices in the 1500s, the development of spatial representations, and the formation of the sense of self which so clearly defines modernity.

Edney, Matthew H. Mapping an Empire: The Geographic Construction of British India, 1765-1843. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.

This is the first detailed analysis of a state-sponsored survey from a critical perspective. In the process; Edney outlines the role of mapping and surveying in defining both the territorial and ethical conceptions of the British empire in India; he also examines the shifting technologies of large-scale surveying---and specifically the adoption of triangulation---between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Fletcher, David H. The Emergence of Estate Maps: Christ Church, Oxford, 1600 to 1840. Christ Church Papers, 4. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995.

While this study has a narrow focus---estate management and mapping by Christ Church college- --it addresses a key question that is only now recognized: why, and in what way, did maps become an integral part of management; put another way, when did survey plans become an indispensable part of everyday rural life? Fletcher's study places the common acceptance of cartography well into the nineteenth century, if then; before, the use of maps and the prosecution of surveys by the college's managers was highly contingent.

Francaviglia, Richard V. The Shape of Texas: Maps as Metaphors. College Station, TX: Texas A&M L-, University Press, 1995.

A small book which explores the iconic role of the outline of Texas. Francaviglia examines all sorts of popular cartography, from road signs to belt buckles, in order to demonstrate the meaning and 'naturalness' with which we imbue our human-made regions.

Harvey, P. D. A. The History of Topographical Maps: Symbols, Pictures and Surveys. London: Thames and Hudson, 1980.

Harvey's central concern is with the formation of what is recognized today as a map: constructed to scale from an abstract perspective (the "view from nowhere"). To trace the development of this concept from prehistory to the early modern era, Harvey adapted Denis Wood's structuralist sequencing of relief depiction (profile, oblique, plan) to write broad-brush macro-history of topographic maps as a development from symbols to pictures to surveys. The result is a remarkable, if not entirely convincing, study.

Helgerson, Richard. Forms of Nationhood: The Elizabethan Writing of England. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

A break-through text in demonstrating the multiple links between mapping and other representational strategies. Helgerson examines poetry, legal treatises, plays, religious tracts, political economy, maps, and geographical accounts in a complex account of the construction of "Englishness" (Court vs. country; England vs. Europe; Modern vs. Ancients, etc.) in Tudor and early Stuart England.

Herb, Guntrarn Henrik. Under the Map of Germany: Nationalism and Propaganda, 1918-1945. London: Routledge, 1997.

Herb's study addresses the role of mapping in constructing a German sense of national territory
after the division of the empire in 1918. The ideological delimitation of the "true" German nation- state permeated all shades of political discourse, not just that associated with the National Socialists. It was so prevalent that it underscored the formation of an "objective" and "scientific" discipline of cartography.

Kain, Roger J. P., and Elizabeth Baigent. The Cadastral Map in the Service of the State: A History of Property Mapping. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

A highly innovative and wide-ranging analysis of state-sponsored, very large-scale property
mapping. Kain and Baigent explore the taxation and land registration systems of western and northern Europe, together with their early colonies. They do not provide much comparative analysis, but their work is highly suggestive: comparisons between apparently similar states reveal strikingly dissimilar reasons and styles of cadastral mapping; similar forms of mapping were undertaken by institutionally dissimilar states.

Mignolo, Walter D. The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality, and Colonization. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995.

An intriguing exploration of the interconnections of literature and map in the representation of the Spanish empire in the Americas. Some of Mignolo's assertions with respect to early modern cartography need to be read carefully; his overall approach complements Helgerson.

Mundy, Barbara E. The Mapping of New Spain: Indigenous Cartography and the Maps of the Relaciones Geograficas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

A tremendous study of colonial cartography "on the ground." The Spanish government sent out requests for geographical information; it received a series of texts and maps that reveal a complex, syncretic society. None of the maps were purely indigenous or European in form or content, but all entailed hybridized representations. A key study for breaking out of the emphasis on the metropolitan mapping of empires.

Thongchai Winichakul. Siam Mapped: A History of the Geo-Body of a Nation. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1994.

This remains the only detailed analysis of cartographic cultural imperialism. Thongchai examines how, the Thai state promulgated the Western conception of space---thereby displacing traditional Siamese conceptions in discursive arenas controlled by the government---in order to construct a national territory that would resist, ideologically, the territorial encroachments by the British and French empires during the nineteenth century.

Turnbull, David. Maps are Territories: Science is an Atlas: A Portfolio of Exhibits. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993. Repr. from Geelong, Vic.: Deakin University, 1989.

A critical, constructivist examination of maps, mapping, and map making. Its examples are drawn mostly from Australia, as it was developed there as a university text for a program in the sociology of science. In particular, the spatial experiences and conceptions of Australian Aboriginals are contrasted with those of Europeans to argue for the cultural roots of all knowledge.

Wolff, Larry. Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment. , Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994.

A thorough exploration of how western Europe configured and reconfigured "Eastern Europe" in the eighteenth century; not surprisingly, cartographic representation played a significant role in constructing the new divide between east and west (which replaced the older divide between north and south Europe).

Woodward, David. Maps as Prints in the Italian Renaissance: Makers, Distributors & Consumers. Panizzi Lectures, 1995. London: The British Library, 1996.

This small work is noteworthy for the serious consideration it gives to the place of consumption and fashion in driving not only the market for printed maps, but also the form and content of those maps. This book also exemplifies the end to which detailed artefactual analysis should be directed, specifically the understanding of the conditions and processes of map or book production.


  © 2009 by The President and Fellows of Harvard College. Created January 16, 1998; last revised February 24, 2011.