“The Transformation of Cartographic Thought”

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Rob Kitchin

(National University of Ireland)

“The Transformation of Cartographic Thought”


Paper presented to the conference:

"Mapping Humans: From Body to Cosmos"

13-15 September 2011, Oxford


Third Annual Conference of the Berendel Foundation, in association with the University of Leicester and the Cantemir Institute at the University of Oxford


Summary: It is all too easy to think of maps and cartography in a naïve, commonsense way – a map is a two-dimensional, spatial representation of the Earth, and cartography is the creation of such maps. If only it were so simple. The history of cartography reveals a rich engagement with different philosophies of science. As a result, the scholarly understanding of what maps are and how the processes, procedures and protocols through they are created and deployed has changed enormously over time and space. In this paper, we detail how the underlying ontology and epistemology of cartography has evolved, concluding with an overview of present postrepresentational thinking.


Short Bio: Rob Kitchinis Professor, Director of the National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA), National University of Ireland, Maynooth, and Chairperson of the Irish Social Sciences Platform. His research interests are broadly social geography, cartography, social policy and software studies. He has published widely across the social sciences, including 20 books and over 100 articles and book chapters. He is editor of the international journals Progress in Human Geography and Dialogues in Human Geography, and for eleven years was the editor of Social and Cultural Geography. He was the editor-in-chief of the 12 volume International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. He's a PI for two national research infrastructures, the Digital Repository of Ireland and the All-island Research Observatory. His book Code/Space (with Martin Dodge) won the Association of American Geographers 'Meridian Book Award' for the outstanding book in the discipline in 2011 and a 'CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2011' award from the American Library Association.


[Recorded and edited by Simon Wilson]



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