The Beauty of Maps

Dec 31, 2022 | Art, Videos

“The Beauty of Maps (Seeing the Art in Cartography) a BBC television series looks at maps in incredible detail. The purpose behind the film is to highlight the artistic attributions of maps and ponder over the stories that they tell. The film focuses on matters concerning data visualization.

The attempt of BBC to take up this subject shows how visualization is becoming an interesting feature in popular press. The varied locations continue to interest trend analysts and location-based applications take over the mobile landscape

1. Medieval Maps – Mapping the Medieval Mind

The Hereford Mappa Mundi, largest intact medieval wall map in the world and its ambition is breathtaking. It pictures all of human knowledge in a single image. It is a work compiled by a team of artists. They portray a world overflowing with life. It features Classical and Biblical history, contemporary buildings and events, animals and plants from across the globe. The infamous ‘monstrous races’ believed to inhabit the remotest corners of the Earth are too part of this picture.

2. City Maps – Order out of Chaos. It’s the story of how urban maps try to impose order on chaos. The British Library has 4.5 million maps, most of which are not hidden in its basement. The series takes us behind the scenes to explore some amazing treasures in more detail. This is the story of three maps, three ‘visions’ of London over three hundred years. What we witness is visions of beauty that celebrate as well as o distort the truth.

3. Atlas Maps – Thinking Big. The Dutch Golden Age saw map-making reach a fever pitch of creative and commercial ambition. It was a period the first ever atlases. The atlases were– elaborate, lavish and beautiful. It was the great age of discovery and gave an unprecedented opportunity to mapmakers. Theses mapmakers sought to record and categorize the newly acquired knowledge of the world.

4. Cartoon Maps – Politics and Satire. The series delves into the world of satirical maps. Graphic artist Fred Rose captures the public mood in 1880 with his general election maps that feature Gladstone and Disraeli. He uses the maps to comment upon crucial election issues and takes advantage of technology. This advent of technology allowed printing larger runs at lower cost. His views are still familiar to us today.”

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Riyan H.