Why Cartography Needs Its History
Authors: Harley, J. B.; Woodward, David
Source: Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 1 January 1989, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 5-15(11)
Abstract:As the new discipline of cartography emerges (“cartography” used here in the broadest sense of the mapping technologies), so does the need for a more explicit recognition and integration of its own history. Grounded in the history and philosophy of science, this would trace the growth of ideas and practice in the field. We review historical studies within cartography, make an intellectual justification for cartographic history and describe its educational uses. We argue that the subject raises cultural literacy among students and leads to an appreciation of the human consequences of mapping. The paper also stresses practical uses in interpreting historical evidence, in formulating public policy and in preserving cartographic records. Above all we stress the humanistic importance of learning to act within the continuous framework of the past, present and future, as map making continues to undergo a profound series of technical revolutions.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 1989