The Cartographic Conundrum

As a cartographer with an extensive background in topographic mapping I have been trained to produce maps as accurately as I possibly can, but of course a map is only an interpretation and can never be 100% accurate.

Quite often maps are produced with very little spatial accuracy, but are still very effective for their intended use, for example the tourist map of Cappadocia, illustrated below, is quite effective in illustrating the major tourist attractions and which turn-offs to take to get to them, however in term of spatial accuracy it is very inaccurate.


Tourist map of Cappadocia

I am currently in Turkey working on a collaborative art project with my partner and have been struggling with the concept of creating highly representative and imaginary maps.  My training in topographic mapping has made it extremely difficult for me to let go of the rigid rules of spatial accuracy and ‘true’ representation.  I have found that while trying to draw a map from my imagination that I freeze up, because my brain is telling me that I can not do something that is not as accurate and true as I can make it.

For me it is a fascinating process as I slowly allow myself to let go of the rules and allow my imagination to run free, and I believe that I am getting there, but it I am finding it frustratingly slow.

Post by Marty