sábado, 6 de outubro de 2007

CARTOGRAPHY

Cartography or mapmaking (in Greek chartis = map and graphein = write) is the study and practice of making maps or globes. Maps have traditionally been made using pen and paper, but the advent and spread of computers has revolutionized cartography. Most commercial-quality maps are now made with map-making software that falls into one of three main types; CAD, GIS, and specialized map illustration software.
Maps function as visualization tools for spatial data. Spatial data is acquired from measurement and can be stored in a database, from which it can be extracted for a variety of purposes. Current trends in this field are moving away from analog methods of mapmaking and toward the creation of increasingly dynamic, interactive maps that can be manipulated digitally.
The cartographic process rests on the premise that the world is measurable and that we can make reliable representations or models of that reality. Mapmaking involves advanced skills and attitudes, particularly the use of symbols to represent certain geographic phenomena, as well as the ability to visualize the world in an astract and scaled-down form.
History
Maps have been an integral part of the human story for a long time (maybe 8,000 years - nobody knows exactly, but longer than written words). They were known to have existed in societies of Europe, the Middle East, China, India, and others.
The earliest known map is currently a wall painting of the ancient Turkish city of Çatal Hüyük which has been dated to the late 7th millennium BCE. Other known maps of the ancient world include the Minoan “House of the Admiral” wall painting from c. 1600 BCE showing a seaside community in an oblique perspective, and an engraved map of the holy Babylonian city of Nippur, from the Kassite period (14th – 12th centuries BCE). The ancient Greeks and Romans created maps beginning with Anaximander in the 6th century BC. In ancient China, although geographical literature spans back to the 5th century BC, the drawing of true geographical maps were not begun in earnest until the first half of the Han Dynasty (202 BC-202 AD), largely with the works of Prince Liu An (179 BC-122 BC).
In the Age of Exploration from the 15th century to the 17th century, cartographers both copied earlier maps (some of which had been passed down for centuries) and drew their own based on explorers' observations and new surveying techniques. The invention of the magnetic compass, telescope and sextant enabled increasing accuracy.
Due to the sheer physical difficulties inherent in cartography, map-makers frequently lifted material from earlier works without giving credit to the original cartographer. For example, one of the most famous early maps of North America is unofficially known as the Beaver Map, published in 1715 by Herman Moll. This map is an exact reproduction of a 1698 work by Nicolas de Fer. De Fer in turn had copied images that were first printed in books by Louis Hennepin, published in 1697, and François Du Creux, in 1664. By the 1700s, map-makers started to give credit to the original engraver by printing the phrase "After [the original cartographer]" on the work.

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