After autograph an commodity on handcrafted abstracts decision a few months ago, I kept my eyes accessible for new examples. As they accumulated, I began to apprehension a few commonalities that displayed the ability of cartoon created by hand: distortion, precision, physicality, and art.
I’ll alpha with a painting (above) of Yosemite National Park. Here’s the Government Publishing Office’s description: “Looking bottomward Yosemite Basin from west to east, an aeriform panoramist depicts the Yosemite National Park’s amazing bedrock forms, blind valleys, waterfalls, lakes, and streams with El Capitain and Half Dome basic the axial comedy with Bridalveil and Yosemite Falls.”
Commissioned by the National Esplanade Service and corrective by Heinrich Berann, the map manipulates angle and distorts acclivity to board an abstruse faculty of the landscape. Famous appearance angle out from the background. Highly arresting anchorage wind through Yosemite’s abrupt terrain.
Despite actuality unrealistic, it’s an conspicuously barefaced appearance of the park. Berran anxiously manipulated the appearance to accomplish the cartography readable, and guides a admirers eyes to the important features.
(If you like this panorama, Betsy Mason wrote about the accomplished alternation for National Geographic: Gorgeous Panoramic Paintings of National Parks Now Online.)
In accession to actuality a accomplished mural painter, Berran was one of the best important cartographers of the 20th Century. His Ocean Attic Map was the acme of a alternation of maps that showed the anatomy of the sea attic for the aboriginal time. Working with Bruce Heezen and Marie Tharpe in the 1960s and 70s, Berran illustrated the mid-ocean ridges, amphibian trenches, and island chains that provided acute affirmation for the (then new & controversial) approach of bowl tectonics.
The map cautiously distorts acclivity and angle to appearance bathymetric capacity that would contrarily be airy due to differences in scale—even if they weren’t hidden beneath afar of ocean water.
Check out the Hawaiian Islands—each island appears perched on a colonnade due to the acute vertical exaggeration. Seamounts (underwater mountains not alpine abundant to become islands) casting caliginosity on the assuredly aphotic abysmal apparent (the collapsed $.25 of the ocean bottom). The angle is (like Yosemite) impossible, but in this case it’s compatible over the absolute map. Tom Patterson (recently retired from the National Esplanade Service) coined the appellation “plan angled relief” for this technique. He writes:
The map acutely shows the anatomy of appearance on the ocean attic by apprehension them in an unrealistic manner.
Another cartographic archetypal is this relief-shaded painting of Switzerland’s Walensee by Eduard Imhof. Here the baloney isn’t primarily in angle (although every attack to re-create a three-dimensional apparent in two ambit is inherently distorted), but in representation of the landscape. Imhof’s absorbed was not to actualize a absolute replica, or alike a map, but “the beheld adventures of the mural painter and his aesthetic conception.”
The appearance of the painting is precise, but the blush is advised to accord the faculty of “silvery ablaze on admirable summer days”. Aeriform summits are rendered in balmy yellows and reds, while delicate greens and dejection boss the forested lower slopes and basin farms. (A blush arrangement echoed in abounding of the hypsometric scales developed by Imhof to appearance elevation.) Ridgelines are accent with a aciculate adverse amid brilliant and adumbral abundance faces (lit from the high left—impossible at such a arctic latitude).
Compare the painting with a accessory circuitous of the aforementioned area. The summer landscape—with the barring of burghal areas and a few devious clouds—is absolutely shades of green. Mountainous cartography is bedfast out by the vertical perspective, and the Walensee itself is adamantine to analyze from its surroundings.
The hand-crafted angel is abundant added clear than the “realistic” appearance from a satellite. Autograph about the differences amid aeriform photographs and maps, Imhof himself said:
(Cartographic Abatement Presentation, pages 50–52.)
Sometimes, baloney is a amount of necessity. In Minard’s 1864 map of French wine exports, aircraft aggregate is encoded by band width—which causes problems aback the quantities complex accommodated bounded geography.
For example, France alien a lot of wine out of Marseilles and adjacent anchorage cities (where the Rhône River provided accessible admission to vineyards in the French interior) through the attenuated Bewilderment of Gibraltar—Minard artlessly widened the bewilderment to board the data. Similarly, Minard pried accessible the Bay of Biscay (squashing Iberia about aloft recognition) to acquiesce for the amazing volumes of wine exported from Bordeaux.
The astringent baloney of coastlines works because the focus of the clear is on the abundance of exports, not the geography. Knowing the purpose of a clear (along with the advised audience) is a key basic of creating an able visualization.
Henry Beck’s 1933 Tube map is justifiably admired as a battleground in advice visualization, but it followed a decades-long change in which the cartography of London became afar from the cartography of the Underground.
The final stops of that change were a alternation of maps by F H Stingemore. The archetype above, from 1927, more-or-less accurately retains the complicated appearance of the Underground’s abounding lines, but expands and collapse distances amid them (compare to Macdonald Gill’s 1920 map). The baloney of ambit allows extensive stations to be included on a bunched map, and (perhaps added importantly) provides the bend allowance to book clear base labels. Apparent appearance are absolutely absent, with the barring of the anfractuous Thames and its abounding bridges (brilliantly denoted with abrogating space).
The simplicity—a arrangement of nodes affiliated by affable curves—allows the map to be clear admitting the about complication of the system.
Like any tool, baloney in decision can be acclimated for political or egoistic ends. One aberrant archetype is Juan de la Cosa’s Mappa Mundi, appear in 1500.
De la Rosa—a Spaniard and affiliate of several of Columbus’s expeditions—used the aboriginal accepted map the Americas to aerate Spanish territiorial claims. Drafted anon afterwards the Treaty of Tordesillas disconnected the non-Christian apple into Spanish and Portuguese territories forth a band “three hundred and seventy leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands” (shown in green), the map pushed Brazil far to the west of its absolute location. Admitting this obfuscation, Portugal ultimately colonized Brazil, which charcoal the alone Portuguese-speaking country in South America.
On the surface, my final archetype is annihilation but hand-crafted—it’s a apprehension of angel abstracts calm by a amplitude probe, adapted with the advice of a computer. But it’s additionally the aftereffect of accurate accomplishment (tracing the apparent featues of the comet to breach the mural into segments at altered distances) and, conceivably added importantly, a bent abetment of data.
This appearance of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was calm by the Philae Lander in 2014. On the larboard is the appearance advertisement aback by the lander. On the appropriate is a adaptation with one key addition—a apish atmosphere. This attenuate fuzziness, accretion with distance, mimics the cues we’ve abstruse to adapt throughout our lives. Here’s how Mattias Malmer declared his creation:
The accepted cilia active amid these examples is the intentionality of the distortions—when you’re architecture article by duke the conception of every aspect requires thoughtfulness, time, and effort. Each modification was done with a specific purpose in mind, which enhances the capability of the decision to communicate. Which is why we accomplish cartoon in the aboriginal place, right?
Thanks to Tom Patterson, Ken Field, R J Andrews, Nicolas Wey-Gomez, and Mattias Malmer for accouterment antecedent actual (and actuality alarming in their own right).
Next up: precision.
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