Critical Cartography

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I did a bit of reading on critical cartography today from the article “An Introduction to Critical Cartography” by Crampton and Krygier, 2006. Some memorable lines from the article are presented below. At this stage, I am looking for a few good examples of maps that have been deconstructed to illustrate their power relationships. I welcome any suggestion.

1. “A critique is not a project of finding fault, but an examination of the assumptions of a field of knowledge. Its purpose is to understand and suggest alternatives to the categories of knowledge that we use. These categories (i.e., assumptions and familiar notions) shape knowledge even as they enable it” p 13.

2. Critique is about the politics of knowledge. It examines the grounds of our decision-making knowledge, the relationship between power and knowledge from a historical perspective, and it resists, challenges, sometimes overthrows categories of thought.

3. “Critical cartography assumes that maps make reality as much as they represent it”. p 15.

4. “Maps inscribe power and support the dominant political structures. According to the authors, this idea is promoted by Denis Woods in his book, the Power of Maps.

5. “Maps are active: they actively construct knowledge, they exercise power and they can be a powerful means of promoting social change”, p 15.

6. “Brian Harley papers introduced the ideas of power, ideology and surveillance, arguing that no understanding of mapping was complete them”, p. 16.


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