Wesleyan University

Humanities Min Kyung Lee 04/06/2015


The map is often used as a tool to navigate spaces and to locate oneself in those spaces—imagined or real. These spatial practices rely on an assumption that a map is a representation, and that regardless of its medium, as printed charts on paper or digital projections on a handheld device, it refers to a place. My presentation interrogates the basis of the link often made between spaces and maps, and seeks to dispel the assumption of the map as a mere description. By outlining a history of surveying and mapping Paris, I will discuss the values of reproduction, circulation and mobility that were promulgated through the practices and methods of drawing official urban plans during the 19th century. I will also address the architectural context and consequences of the period’s emergent cartographic modalities, as well as provide insight and pose questions about the modalities employed by our contemporary mapping applications.

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