Barton and Barton Post

Barton and Barton write about the use of maps.  It is kind of interesting because who knew that maps were so philosophically deep, but on the other hand it is kind of boring because who could write so much useless information on maps.  Barton and Barton consider two major rules on how maps are created.  The first is the Rule of Inclusion.  It is basically considering who will be using the map and who won’t, or in the case of the Dutch cartographers, who is not allowed to use the map.  Basically, the rule of inclusion is that maps are made for the dominant.  Of course, the opposite is the Rule of Exclusion and Repression.  This rule is based on how maps are not given to groups of people, what land is not drawn on a map, and what geological things are not drawn on the map, like the example of the nuclear waste dumps being kept from the USA geological survey maps.

Hurricane Frequency Map

This map of the United States actually uses the rule of exclusion to show good information.  It keeps state border lines, but it removes rivers, landmarks, and anything outside of county lines to show which counties are most affected by hurricane landings.  Removing any unnecessary information helps people see better where exactly hurricanes do the most damage.  The rule of exclusion seems to be a negative rule because it seems to be applied to keeping people from using maps, but this example does not seem bad.

Question:  What do you all think of Barton and Barton’s belief that the rule of exclusion is inherently a bad rule?  The conclusion of the piece clearly thinks that considering what they say about the unity of inclusion rather than exclusion, but is the rule of exclusion inherently bad, even when considering the above example?


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