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Themesicon: navigation pathMapping and Texticon: navigation pathEditorial

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Mapping and Text
icon: authorRudolf Frieling

From the outset, maps have surveyed and inscribed territories in order to take possession of them, to occupy and colonize them. So historically speaking a map was not just a cognitive instrument but primarily an instrument in the competition for economic advantage and power. This world survey narrative goes hand in hand with the invention and testing of better navigation instruments and timepieces. It was essential to establish an individual position in relation to traversed space. So the notion of symbolic, religiously determined representation of spatial connections was accordingly detached from an analogous and indexical structure that cross-referenced geographical space with cartographic representations gained from nautical and optical instruments. Cartographers in their turn worked with these instruments as if in a panoptic village, regardless of the fact that they had always been part of the traversed space they were ostensibly mapping from the outside. Here the map did not just represent abstract space, but also paths and routes, in other words, human practice in space. [more]more