Thursday, October 15, 2009

Map Love

I love antique maps. If I had the space in my home, I would have a room dedicated to old maps.

I love these relics of human progress for their aesthetic value - i.e. they look very cool - and I love them for what they represent. Maps are symbolic of the uniquely human need to create abstract models of the world we live in. Maps are our attempt to simplify a complex environment.

I also love how clearly maps show the progress of human evolution and understanding. A map of the U.S. in 1776 is significantly different from a map of the U.S. in 1820. These visual models offer a sobering reminder of the fact that "facts" change, that very few things are set in stone, and that being wrong is a prerequisite for progress.

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