2623 - The Story of Maps and Atlases: From Ptolemy to Google Earth
Aside from their obvious utility for navigation, exploration, and military strategy, maps and atlases have always been a source of fascination. They give a sense of the world beyond our immediate environment and of our place in that world. They also allow us to dream of faraway places, which we might visit someday, or perhaps never. We will follow their story from antiquity to the present , in which maps and atlases have become endangered species. We will look at beautiful and sometimes rather fanciful examples of historical maps and atlases, occasionally accompanied by music of the period, and we will see that maps, far from offering increasingly accurate representations of the world, inevitably express the biases of their time and place. The last part of the course will feature a discussion of the potential gains and losses offered by the new technological mapping tools, to which students will be invited to contribute their observations and experiences. Lecture (plus Questions); Listening to Music or Other Audio
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