HLM Chapter 7,8,9 Review

Chapter 7

Key Points:

  1. Maps can be used as political propaganda as a way for nations to assert their cartographical dominance over other nations, and assert their geographical power and unity (pages 88 and 90).
  1. Propaganda map projections can be used to make certain regions look bigger and more important, while making other regions look more vulnerable, influencing the importance of different regions on maps (page 94).
  1. The use of various map symbols, such as an arrow or set of arrows, bomb or missile symbol, circles, or place-­‐names, can have a huge influence on the interpretation and meaning of a map (pages 107-­‐110).

Specific Examples:

  1. Argentina used postage stamps to state their claim to the Falkland Islands and Antarctica, while also denying claim to the British that they held the islands to the east of
  1. Figure 7.5 (page 95) shows how much smaller Israel is when compared to its neighboring Arab nations, which would emphasize the threat the Arab nations pose to Isr But the map doesn’t include anything about Israel’s advanced military technology and allies (pages 94-­‐95).
  1. Figure 7.20 (page 111) uses place names in an infant mortality map of San Diego, California, to show that different parts of the city can be compared to greatly developed European countries and other parts can be compared to less developed countries (page 111).

Important Quotes:

  1. “Perhaps the haste of new nations to assert their independence cartographically reflects the colonial powers’ use of the map as an intellectual tool for legitimizing territorial conquest, economic exploitation, and cultural imperialism” (page 90).
  1. “Nazi propaganda addressed especially to the United States presented a selective and distorted version of history designed to increase sympathy for Germany, decrease support for Britain and France, and keep America out of World War II, at least until Axis forces had conquered Europe” (page 99).
  1. “During World War II and the Korean War, many American newspapers used daily battlefield maps with forceful and suggestive arrows to give their readers a generalized blow-­‐by-­‐blow account of the Allied forces’ victories and defeats” (page 108).

Chapter 8

1: Defense & a Secure Cartographic Database

  • there is a very real need for cartographic security
  • mapped info must be guarded
    • “If knowledge is power, an enemy’s knowledge of your weaknesses and strengths is a threat.” – pg. 113
    • fake maps can be released to enemies as tactic to get them to attack or not attack
    • area to be mapped also reveals interest in area
  • electronic geospatial data is more flexible (can be easily edited) yet more vulnerable (i.e. under nuclear attack, hackers)

2: Soviet Cartography, the Cold War, and Displaced Places

  • now-admitted Soviet cartographers who deliberately doctored their maps
  • SU deliberately distorted locations, coastlines, highways, etc. on atlases & maps sold to public during Cold War
    • example: 6 different maps of one area showing town, river, & coast – pg. 116
    • maps have moved towns up to 25 miles
    • urban maps sometimes omitted a scale, important buildings (KGB in Moscow)
  • S. diplomats had better maps than SU citizens
  • “cartographic disinformation is costly both to mapmaking and to economic development” – pg. 118
    • need time & personnel to make inaccurate maps AND secure accurate maps
    • security measures for economic planners
  • developed satellite imagery – led to decrease of deliberately inaccurate maps

3: Features Not Shown, Maps Not Made

  • how governments sometimes mislead their own citizens by failing to include threats to a sound environment
  • maps can disguise government or confidential areas, such as Camp David (pg.119-120), by changing their name
  • British maps omit some sights from maps or camouflage aerial photos
  • some countries leave blank spaces altogether
  • Love Canal maps – omit canal in 1980 map after it was filled in
    • ignores history & human health risk
    • 121-122
  • maps omit features and therefore silence them
    • omit “areas of danger and misery” like impoverished or high-crime areas, dangerous intersections, etc. (pg. 122)
    • base map features are reflection of interests of map-makers or users – not necessarily public health & safety

Chapter 9

Key Points:

  1. When making maps, the usual standards for governmental cartographers are national defense, economic development, infrastructure, and topography. (pg. 124).
  2. Maps made in different parts of the world will follow their own traditions in map-making, which can cause confusion to those who use maps made that were produced in different part of the world. (pg. 127).
  3. National Mapping organizations pursue subtle strategies and agendas, which sometimes reveal a bureaucratic mentality eager to appear productive and sometimes willing to cut corners. (pg. 130).

Specific Examples:

  1. Example of how national defense is a standard specification for mapping woodland when the USGS topographic specifications for mapping woodland is “the growth must be at least 6 feet (2 m) tall and dense enough to afford cover for troops.” (pg. 127).
  2. Example of the differences in how railway systems are marked on maps in the U.S. and Switzerland. (pg. 127-128).
  3. Example of how mapping organizations can cut corners when the Geological Survey managers cut back on field surveying in order to cut costs yet complete the 7.5-minute series, and the end result was a crude looking map that technically still met the map accuracy standards, but were visually very rough. (pg. 133).

Important Quotes:

  1. “In portioning an entire country among a largely arbitrary grid of rectangular areas called quadrangles, the national mapping organization willingly sacrifices political, ethnic, and physical boundaries to the convenience of uniformly spaced meridians and parallels – a divide-and-conquer strategy that makes complete map coverage seem both doable and essential.” (pg. 124).
  2. “Surveyors and engineers typically had some military experience, and their mapping methods reflected techniques taught at West Point and used in the Union Army and the Corps of Engineers. As a result, topographic mapping in the new Geological Survey reflected military practice, a tradition fostered in later years by civil service rules favoring war veterans and by executive orders requiring at least minimal coordination of civilian and military agencies with common interests.” (pg. 127).
  3. “Yet unlike verbal language, cartographic symbols are more rigorously controlled through formal standards and specifications administered by institutions that resist change and controversy. That’s why our topographic maps […] overlook toxic waste dumps and evacuation zones around nuclear power plants.” (pg. 130).