The Impotence of Maps, or Deconstructing the Deconstruction of their Construction

daan Strebe


As mapmakers we are invested in the importance of our craft. We bemoan the tragic stateof geographic and map literacy, and advocate better education. Names like Robinson,Harley, and Wood have asserted the great power of maps. Are we guilty of seeing everythingas a nail because we make hammers? In this rhetorical presentation, I argue forhumility in our endeavor, recognizing that many people simply do not need maps. Theymeet their wayfinding needs using other efficient, utilitarian skills and devices. Could weimprove our map designs for those who do use maps by disregarding the (non-)needs ofthose who do not?

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