2xBarton and Maps

Barton and Barton use their article to provide a critical analysis of using maps in visual rhetoric. They describe a map as quintessentially ideological when used as a visual aid. For instance, on a picture of a map of the U.S.A., it may be color coded to set apart different state regions, but we are to understand that those sections of states are not literally one color. The Bartons express that maps are always linked with authority and power to de-naturalize the world and set social rules. They talk about the rules of inclusion and exclusion which determine what is and isn’t included when creating a map. Rules of inclusion would include the purpose of creating the map, which is most likely to claim or legitimate territory (like in war). Another inclusion is what exactly is to be identified: terrain, roads, climate. The last inclusion I will mention is what symbolism and tools are used to create the map – something like what icons or how things are spaced.


My example uses a map of the world (albeit, an inclusion based map using man-made territory lines, flat layout, naming tendencies, etc.). This map shows the popularity of photo spots in the world, with yellow being the most popular and the faded grey being the least popular. Now this is not what the earth looks like, but we’ve manipulated the planet in such a way that this visual can easily communicate a message about photography habits in the world.

How could we apply the Barton’s concepts of inclusion and exclusion to something like typography? What do we include and what do we try to minimize and take away from when using typography?


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