Relationship between art and cartography

Art and Cartography

relationship between art and cartography

Commission of the International Cartographic Association. an art, whereas GIS evolved as a more precise and objective approach to what is the many dimensions of the relationship between cartography and GIS. There is an undeniable relationship between art and cartography—from the early maps sketched on cave walls to the high-tech digital maps of.

Literary intellectuals at one pole - at the other scientists. In our society we have lost even the pretence of a common culture. Persons educated with the greatest intensity we know can no longer communicate with each other on the plane of their major intellectual concern Snow p. The assumptions about the polarity of art and science by Jastrzebski, Lapage, Papp-Vary, the British Cartographic Society, and Snow are simplifications which in essence do not consider the relations between art and science.

Jastrzebski sees the art in scientific illustration but denies it a role; indeed in his text he hints at the possible corrupting influence of artistic expression on scientific graphics.

Lapage appreciates the art more than Jastrzebski yet still sees the artistic aspect as independent and unnecessary to the scientific purpose of graphics made by or for scientists for their work. Papp-Vary argues, as Jastrzebski, that the art in the science of cartography is strictly of secondary importance.

The British Cartographic Society formalizes the distinction by suggesting that practising cartographers need not engage in the "art" of cartography. All assume a polarizing model which simply skirts the more fundamental nature of their subject.

The "Progressive Theme" A second and more complex theme in the information graphics and cartography literature assumes that art and science necessarily exist together albeit distinctly in maps and information graphics, and seeks to evaluate some difference between "art" and "science" that may help to establish what can be considered "artistic" and what can be considered "scientific.

The first concerns the different way that art and science treat their past, and how this can be used to differentiate the artistic from the scientific aspects of maps and other information graphics. The second argument suggests that art and science serve different functions in maps and information graphics. Progressive Science and A-Progressive Art Historian of science Thomas Kuhn articulates the different manner in which art and science deal with their past - what Kuhn calls the most obvious difference between art and science: David Knight links this idea of the progressive nature of science and the a-progressive nature of art to information graphics: While the various scientific illustrations from the past continue to give pleasure, their usefulness tends to diminish with the passage of time because scientific language and the concerns associated with it changes, whether it be visual or ordinary language.

If it is the work of a great artist, it may pass time's test and live on, passing into 'art' if it is no longer 'science,' rather than being a casualty of progress Knight p. Such an argument is evident in the cartographic literature and is characterized by a belief in the progression in the "scientific" quality of maps from the "simple," "poor," and even "pathetic" maps of "primitive" peoples or of our predecessors up to the "accurate" and "objective" maps of today.

Old maps are interesting primarily because of their quaint "artistic" nature. Their "science," if there is any, is outdated and not important. Arthur Robinson notes that "[t]he older is a flat map or a globe map, the more likely it is to be called an art object" Robinson p.

relationship between art and cartography

It is, then, the progressive nature of science which separates science from art. In an oft-repeated quote from his History of Cartography, Leo Bagrow wrote "This book ends where maps ceased to be works of art, the products of individual minds, and where craftsmanship was finally superseded by science and the machine; this came in the second half of the eighteenth century" Bagrow p.

Bagrow's sentiments are common. Ronald Rees, in his discussion of the historical links between cartography and art, writes "until science claimed cartography, mapmaking and landscape painting were kindred activities, often performed by the same hand" Rees p.

Bagrow and Rees, while obviously concerned with the "art" in cartography, certainly do art no service by implying that it has a static nature, so easily superseded and snuffed out by progressive science. Robert Root-Bernstein has evaluated the differentiation of art from science by the way each treats their past and found it wanting: Science does not automatically reject its past for innovation. On the contrary, science is a selective process that weeds out bad ideas, irreproducible results, and incorrect problem solutions to leave fruitful ideas, reproducible results, and useful problem solutions.

Indeed, there instead seems to be more similarity than difference in the way that art and science treat their past: I suggest that artists reject earlier traditions of art for the same reason that scientists reject earlier traditions of science: Certainly an artist could choose to paint like Rembrandt just as a scientist could choose to perform experiments on falling bodies similar to those conducted by Galileo.

But painting like Rembrandt tells us no more about perception and solves no new problems of the use of light than Rembrandt already did, just as more data on falling bodies reveal nothing new about the nature of motion. To be successful, the artist, like the scientist, must introduce into his discipline new methods, new perceptions, or new phenomena that raise new problems for colleagues to address Root-Bernstein p. A similar argument has been used to critique the manner in which cartography has relied on the assumption that the "art" in old maps is immutable while the science is outdated, superceded by more accurate and objective knowledge.

Much of this critique developed in tandem with the reconceptualization of the history of cartography Blakemore and HarleyHarley and Woodward Traditional histories of cartography are criticized for their tendency to conceptualize the development of cartography as progressive and teleological while simultaneously ignoring a complex array of cultural, social, economic, and political issues.

relationship between art and cartography

An alternative view of cartography can be formulated, where cartography is "not a neutral activity divorced from the power relations of any human society, past or present [and] there is no single nor necessarily best way in which to represent either the social or physical worlds" Edney p.

Edney argues for understanding cartography as "composed of a number of modes" defined as historically contingent "sets of cultural social, and technological relations which define cartographic practices and which determine the character of cartographic information" p. These contingent modes are related to the continual emergence of new problems, methods, and phenomena which drive developments in both "art" and "science" as discussed by Root-Bernstein.

From this it follows that "There is not hard and fast distinction between the 'art' and the 'science' of cartography; nor is it that 'cartography is both an art and a science Instead, each "cartographic mode" is the result of particular historical cultural, social, political circumstances, and the distinction between what is defined as "art" and "science" varies from mode to mode.

To impose a particular notion of art and science defined by our particular late 20th century Western cartographic mode on all maps ignores both historical and contemporary differences in the manner in which art and science are defined.

It is, then, problematic to sustain the argument that science is progressive and art is a-progressive and, thus, to use such alleged differences to distinguish art from science in information graphics and maps. The Differing Function of Art and Science in Information Graphics and Cartography The second argument of the progressive approach suggests that art and science serve a different function in maps and information graphics.

Kuhn has also argued that there is a major difference between painting and information graphics: They are the sorts of object which the painter aims to produce, and his reputation is a function of their appeal.

The scientific illustrations, on the other hand, are at best by-products of scientific activity Kuhn p. Thus, Kuhn sees a difference between ends - the visual product or language of an artist, and means - the visual product or language of a scientist. Kuhn sees something similar in the idea of the aesthetic and how it differs in art and in science: In the sciences it is, at best, again a tool: Only if it unlocks the puzzle, only if the scientist's aesthetic turns out to coincide with nature's, does it play a role in the development of science.

In the sciences the aesthetic is seldom an end in itself and never the primary one Kuhn p. Kuhn does discern similarities in art and science that are important. For instance, they both must deal with technical problems which must be solved for the end product to be realized.

But an exclusive emphasis upon those parallels obscures a vital difference. Whatever the term "aesthetic" may mean, the artist's goal is the production of aesthetic objects; technical puzzles are what he must resolve in order to produce such objects. For the scientist, on the other hand, the solved technical puzzle is the goal, and the aesthetic is a tool for its attainment. Whether in the realm of products or of activities, what are ends for the artist are means for the scientist, and vice versa Kuhn p.

Similar sentiments are expressed by cartographers. Keates sees an immutable aesthetic element in mapping, an "art" which cannot be accounted for by progressive "science. Yet this aesthetic element in cartography is distinct from science, and it is possible "for a map [to] be 'well designed' in a functional sense without creating anything of the aesthetic property we can sense in other things" Keates p.

Art, in the end, serves a different function than science and need not be part of the successfully designed map. Robinson argues along similar lines, noting that there are two types of "man-made things responded to aesthetically": In this case, the map is essentially a useful and purposeful object, employing certain "artistic means" to achieve an end which must be "something else," a something else which is, logically, non-artistic; ie.

The cartographer, then, uses artistic means to achieve a broader scientific end; the art in a map, thus, serves a different function than the science in a map. Robert Root-Bernstein has also evaluated the differentiation of art from science by asserting their different functions.

Kuhn argues that the "aesthetic" is the artist's goal and the scientist's tool.

relationship between art and cartography

Thus, the function of art is to produce aesthetic ends which may involve solving "technical puzzles" while the function of science is to produce solutions to "technical puzzles" which may involve aesthetic means. Keates and Robinson place a similar argument in the realm of cartography. To this analogy, it seems, Kuhn would agree. Yet Root-Bernstein finds fault with this formulation of the analogous relationship between art and science. Kuhn's belief in functional differences found in art and science, as represented by his conception of the differing role of aesthetics, is at odds with the practices of certain scientists.

Henri Poincare has argued that The scientist does not study nature because it is useful to do so. He studies it because he takes pleasure in it; and he takes pleasure in it because it is beautiful.

If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing and life would not be worth living I mean the intimate beauty which comes from the harmonious order of its parts and which a pure intelligence can grasp quoted in Root-Bernstein p.

And Alexander von Humboldt: In the uniform plain bounded only by a distant horizon, where the lowly heather, the cistus, or waving grasses, deck the soil; on the ocean shore, where the waves, softly rippling over the beach, leave a track, green with the weeds of the sea; everywhere, the mind is penetrated by the same sense of the grandeur and vast expanse of nature, revealing to the soul, by a mysterious inspiration, the existence of laws that regulate the forces of the universe Humboldt p.

In both cases, art and science seem to serve similar functions. Further, similarities between scientific and artistic activity have been commented upon quite frequently. The journal Leonardo features articles by "artistic scientists" and "scientific artists.

Instead, the focus is on goals and ideals and methods shared by artists and scientists: Gombrich has noted that In representing the appearance of things, the artist does not simply trace an outline of their visual contours, but prepares instead a hypothetical construction to be matched and then modified in light of further experience.

Through an alternating sequence of "makings and matchings" the artist gradually eliminates the discrepancies between what is seen and what is drawn. Such "makings and matchings" of the artist correspond to the "conjectures and refutations" of the natural scientist quoted in Miller p.

There is a case to be made for functional similarity, and thus structural difference in art and science. Root-Bernstein concludes that "both scientists and artists are engaged in the common pursuit of new ways of perceiving and of controlling nature" and that this common pursuit "is mirrored in common methods" Root-Bernstein p.


Thus, paintings are analogous, structurally, to experiments, art galleries to scientific meetings. Paintings are not, then, an end but instead are a means, like an experiment. Established theory, in science as well as art, "is simply an approximation to perceived reality that permits predictions to be made about the unknown. Art and science - however defined - serve similar functions. Judith Wechsler has come to a conclusion similar to Root-Bernstein's.

Wechsler further argues that aesthetics guide the search for "fit" in both art and science: The theoretical underpinning of mapping emotions; The cognitive aspects of designing maps that can trigger emotions and in understanding how emotions influence map use; The methodologies developed in arts, sciences and the humanities for collecting emotional material associated with places e.

relationship between art and cartography

Do you need special material or venue? These discussions will be structured around two types of activities: The Challenge of Spatially Representing Experience. Kartographische Nachrichten, 62 6— International Cartographic Association, August These movements have also inspired contemporary artists to express their own aesthetic and political visions of the world through maps.

Finally, since the end of the 20th century, scholars from the humanities have discovered the power of maps to reveal hidden narrative structures embedded in novels and films.

Accordingly, geographers, cartographers and other scholars have started to recognize this material as a meaningful source of geographical data that can be mapped to better understand places.

This brief review suggests that the relationship between art and cartography has been growing in complexity. It is hoped that this can continue to produce new forms of maps and mapping practices that could help address the broad range of complex political, social and environmental issues that we are currently facing. Deep maps and spatial narratives. A History of the World in 12 Maps.

Foreshadowing contemporary digital cartography: A historical review of cinematic maps in films. The agency of mapping: Art and cartography in the twentieth century. Imago Mundi, 57 1 Keyhole, Google Earth, and 3D Worlds: An Interview with Avi Bar-Zeev.

Cartographica, 43 2 The Over-use of a Cartographic Icon. The Map as Art: Borderities and the Politics of Contemporary Mobile Borders pp. Literary Cartography of the Great Plains. University of Nebraska Press. An atlas of radical cartography. Journal of aesthetics and protest press. Atlas of the European novel: Technologies of the Self.

8 Artists Who Combine Cartography and Art

Literary mapping in the digital age. Cartographies of fictional worlds. The Cartographic Journal, 48, Theorizing maps with literature. Progress in Human Geography, 38 4 Univ of California Press. A New Orleans Atlas. A New York City Atlas.

shizutetsu.infor: Cartography as an Art and a Science?

The world of H. Mapping and Contemporary Art. The Power of Maps. Guilford Press, Wood, D.