The following paper was delivered at the 2015 Modern Language Association conference and presents work developed by myself, Adèle Barclay, Stephen Ross, Jentery Sayers, Katie Tanigawa, Belaid Moa, and the INKE-MVP research team.
All too often, electronic mapping environments treat historical maps as images rather than artifacts. When we import archival maps into digital environments, they are usually displayed as a base map; this allows us to add data to the map by dropping base pins, annotations, scaling, zooming, and so on. However, these ways of handling geographic data function within the interface of the mapping environment, subjecting historical maps to contemporary ways of expressing and interacting with geography. Reproducing historical and literary maps within mapping environments such as Google Earth imposes GIS-specific understandings of space upon maps that predate GIS or understand space in other ways. Read more