Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Maps as tools for thinking

In searching for something else, I found this interesting piece by Atlantic Monthly author James Fallows on maps (which I love - is there such a thing as a cartophile? the little red line under a misspelled word seems to say no) as information and design Fallows is looking at maps and map software tools for thinking. And while at first I was disappointed that the maps he was using were "just" maps of cognition - such as maps of debates and of arguments, to show the lines of thinking - quite fascinating, Fallows ended up with a city map of London which is partly meant to show that a map is easier to follow than written directions -- and yet, there is a skill and an art and a talent in reading cartography, which may be why Google is creating street scenes to supplement their maps.