Barton and Barton and Maps

In this reading Barton and Barton discuss a couple of different things having to do with maps. The two big main things that they discuss that I am going to cover are the rules of inclusion and the rules of exclusion. In terms of map making the rules of inclusion determine whether something should be mapped, what aspects of a specific thing should be mapped, and how should the mapped aspects be represented? One example from the reading is the Hachette World Guide in which the man who wrote it seemed to be overly describing how beautiful the mountains were and he basically considered any area that had uneven ground to be a picturesque mountainous place. For the rules of exclusion Barton and Barton talked about how studying what someone making a map chose not to put on the map can be just as telling and informative. In this section they talk about how in European cartography the people making the maps during a specific period in time seemed to not even bother including things or making maps for the lower classes that they deemed as not being able to understand or use maps.

I found this reading to be pretty dry and boring, but how Barton and Barton looked at and examined maps gave me a few useful details into how I could approach designing something. There examples about not trying to hard and overselling something because it serves a specific interest was very insightful and reading about the European map makers did give me a good look at how I should maybe not design something to specific and always be mindful that what I am making will inevitably be seen by people who maybe have no idea what the designed object is for but that doesn’t mean they should not be able to get any information from it at all. Below is a map of Middle Earth that when it was drawn used some of the inclusion and exclusion rules from the reading. There is definitely mountains and forests shown on the map but not every tree is shown and not every city or town, just the ones deemed most important by the cartographer for us to know or remember.


My question is this: can you think of ways that these principles and rules can carry over to graphic design or at least motion graphics design?


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