Sunday, February 3, 2008

Maps - 5

Absolutely not. Distortions of emphasis are placed into a map deliberately to make it more readable and therefore more useful. And even distortions of representation are fine, as long as the reader of the map understands the nature of the distortion and how to interpret the information that is being provided. Mercator designed his maps to enhance navigation. His aim was to promote usefulness. Exact replicas may be too hard to work with because they are more complicated and they may be too unwieldy to use. Distortion is not a fatal flaw at all, but distortion that is unrecognized can create errors in interpretation. Therefore it is important to understand the limits of the representation, to avoid making these errors.

Now let's imagine you are planning a drive trip for vacation. Can you think of information you'd want to learn for the trip that you won't find in a map? How would you acquire that type of information?

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