the World is under my feet

the World is under my feet
screen shot from the movie 'Elizabeth the Golden Age'

Friday, 22 July 2011

New interesting terminology - Cartefacts

It was so glad to bring along a new Jonathan Potter's catalogue as I had no book or decent magazine with me during the short 'business' trip in Taipei. Good to kill time and gain knowledge of the map market.

On the front page of the catalogue, Mr. Potter states "What is a 'cartefact'?"

"To us, it is any object with a map, chart or plan applied, which serves a purpose other than just providing spatial information. Traditional such items have fallen within the general category of cartographic curiosities, however, we believe that the items here deserve their own distinctive genus. Dotted throughout his catalogue, you will find ceramics and haberdashery equipment, 'kerchiefs' and commemorative memorabilla, advertising promotions and more - all with maps as decoration or for additional practical use. The map may be printed directly on the object or onto paper which is then attached but used to augment that artefact.

Since the beginning of cartographic history maps have been used as wall decoration and in books. However, their use for amusement or education, beginning around the mid-eighteenth century, broadened their appeal and made maps, in one form or another commonplace in many areas of the home or workplace. Now, some 250 years later, maps enjoy a previously unheralded prominence in everyday life - whether being worn or carried (Paul Smith fashion being one example), studied as art (Jasper Johns, Grayson Perry and many more), as tourist souvenirs or fashionable crockery. Maps are also used in political caricature and advertising, and have had books and television programmes devoted to them. Today's 'cartefacts' may be the collectors' items of the future, even if satellite navigation on a telephone does away with A-Z!"

Just made a Google search and found the word 'cartefact' is about car but nothing about cartography. But it will be great if there is a professional term for 'cartographic curiosities'. 'Curiosities' this word seems to be a bit derogatory and old-fashioned.

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