Headline Sep 17, 2015/ ''' [ GOOGLE EARTH + 11 ] '''

''' [ GOOGLE EARTH + 11 ] '''

PROFESSOR BROTTON  -of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary University of London, examines the complexity of mapmaking through the stories of :

12 maps, which stretch across space and over time:

The examples are impressively varied from Ptolemy's toils to Google Earth, and include some lesser Islamic and East Asian works. 

Despite their differences, these maps enjoy some intriguing similarities, large for the way they illustrate the priorities of their authors.

AROUND 150 AD  -an astronomer named Claudius Ptolemy wrote a book about how to make a proper map of the world.

Penned in Greek on a papyrus scroll, the work, known as the  ''Geography'', is one of the most famous texts on the science of mapmaking. It placed the job firmly in the domain of the geographer, who could use-

Astronomy and mathematics to calculate from the stars what the world really looked like below.

Ptolemy's  ''Geography''  was an attempt to take myths out of maps and recommended using geometric and lines of latitude and longitude to convey a three-dimensional Earth on a two-dimensional surface-

And it included the co-ordinates of over 8,000 locations in the ancient world.

Whether Ptolemy drew his own maps is unclear. The  ''Geography''  disappeared for a thousand years, only for an unoriginal copy to appear in the  13th century replete with coloured maps drawn by Byzantine  scribes.

Regardless, these geographic drawings and all other maps based on scientific calculation are his legacy.

But as Professor Jerry Brotton explains  in  ''A History Of The World in Twelve Maps'',   Ptolemy's scientific influence tells only part of the the story. Mapmakers operate in environment of subjective knowledge. Their work is influenced by politics and patrons-

Regional assumptions and religious beliefs, all of which jostles with the science in determining what a map looks like and what it is used for. 

Mapmakers maybe geographers and cartographers, but they can also be artists and imperialists, storytellers and propagandists.   
The medieval Mappa Mundi in England's Hereford cathedral, for example is a little more than drawings on vellum, or stretched calfskin, and it lacks Ptolemy's geometric method.

Yet it is a beautifully detailed map of the Christian world, based on the topography of the Bible  -bewildering to the geographer, but sensible to people of faith.

Oriental east, Jerusalem sits at the centre. Britain clings insignificantly to the edge.

Time would change this view of the world in the eyes of the British mapmakers. By the 19th century maps often placed the British Isles at the core. One such map in the book features:

A view of the globe with Britain and the North Atlantic in the centre to better portray the empire's sea power; Australia and half of South America are left off.

The Honour and Serving of the  ''Knowledge of Operational Research'' continues. Thank you for reading and sharing forward. And see you on the following one.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' The Chronicles '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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