Understanding Maps? Conception of Cartography of Scottish Cartographer J. S. Keates And Its Usability In Cartographic Creation

Journal / Conference:
Authors: Jan D. Bláha
Year: 2014
Number: 2
Category of Publication: Article in Journal
Pages, web: s. 72–80
Keywords: conception of cartography, John Stanley Keates, cartographic information, theory of cartographic communication, art and cartography, culture, society
Link to full version: http://gis.fns.uniba.sk/kartografickelisty/archiv/KL22/8.pdf
Abstract: The article tries to answer the question of whether the current trend to label a map primarily as a carrier of (spatial) information does not reduce the map itself and its functions. It is based on the concept of cartography, relatively less known in the Czech and Slovak environment, of a Scottish cartographer John Stanley Keates (1925–1999). He introduced his concept of cartography, particularly in his pivotal publication, Understanding Maps. In principle, Keates does not contradict the theory of information, but at the same time however, he states that this theory to describe a map and its functions is just not enough. In his opinion, a map, as an artefact of human activity, can be seen now in several modes. As visual information, a symbolic representation, means of communication, artistic work and a product of human skill. Most of these modes use similar constructs, on one side, is the cartographer, or the creator of the map, the map is a specific mediator and the map user is on the other side. These modes, however, differ in their basic philosophy. There is alternation of visuality, semiotics, linguistics, aesthetics and technology. J. S. Keates when trying to summarize his lifelong research of cartographic production came to the conclusion that he had never paid attention primarily to communication, but above all to the representation of objects and phenomena. He believed that the product must be not only informationally effective but also aesthetically attractive.
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