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Making Sense of Maps

TED Talks Map designer Aris Venetikidis is fascinated by the maps we draw in our minds as we move around a city -- less like street maps, more like schematics or wiring diagrams, abstract images of relationships between places.

 

This video touches on numerous themes that are crucial to geographers including: 1) how our minds arrange spatial information, 2) how to best graphically represent spatial information in a useful manner for your audience and 3) how mapping a place can be the impetus for changing outdated systems. This is the story of how a cartographer working to improve a local transportation system map, which in turn, started city projects to improve the infrastructure and public utilities in Dublin, Ireland. This cartographer argues that the best map design for a transport system needs to conform to how on cognitive mental mapping works more so than geographic accuracy (like so many subway maps do).

 

Tags: transportation, urban, mapping, cartography, planning, TED, video, unit 7 cities.


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Jesse Gauthier's comment, October 14, 2012 3:42 PM
When trying to graphically represent spatial information in a useful manner for your particular audience, you will have a lot to take into consideration. How familiar are the travelers with the area you map out? Are there visuals to precisely mark on the map so that will they accurately correspond to the area?
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2600 years of history in one object

TED Talks A clay cylinder covered in Akkadian cuneiform script, damaged and broken, the Cyrus Cylinder is a powerful symbol of religious tolerance and multi-culturalism.

 

At first glance this TED Talk appears to be more about ancient history, archaeology and biblical studies that anything modern.  Yet as Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum continues his discussion of the Cyrus Cylinder (A clay cylinder covered in Akkadian cuneiform script), it becomes clear that this historical artifact is vital in understanding how modern states conceive of their heritage, cultural legacy and role within the Middle East today (such as Israel, Iraq, Iran and even the U.K.).  As such the Cyrus Cylinder is a powerful symbol of religious tolerance and multi-culturalism and plays a role in shaping Middle Eastern cultural and political institutions. 


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Don Brown Jr's comment, October 1, 2012 9:18 PM
Objects, ideas and land can have multi overlapping meanings that are constantly being reinterpreted by each succeeding generation creating new symbolic understandings that overlap into many societies and cultures.
Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, November 8, 2013 9:16 AM

Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum, explains Middle Eastern history using the Cyrus Cylinder.  His first point in this TED talk is especially interesting because he explains that people age and perish and objects do the same, but objects such as this cylinder survive and are able to tell important stories of history for a much longer time than people normally can.