Maps with Barton²

This article is a boring yet simultaneously interesting read on the rhetoric behind map design and reading. Boring in the sense it seems to go unnecessarily deep on a rather dull subject in maps, and interesting for the same reason. The core of the article seems to focus on two rules or conventions within map design in what the article calls the “Rules of Inclusion” and the “Rules of Exclusion and Repression.” The rules of inclusion were initially summed up in the article as “whether something is mapped, what aspects of a thing are mapped, and what representational strategies and devices are used to map those objects.” With a map there’s a whole list of things you can map like landmarks, lakes, rivers, demographics, state capitals, and many more. This takes into consideration what the map is used for, by whom, and in the article who was even allowed to look at the map. The rules of exclusion and repression were largely the same idea, but opposite. The big rhetorical narrative I got from the article is the rhetorical conventions of “what do I map and why” as well as “what do I not map and why.”

Admittedly I saw another blog post for my image, but I wanted to expand this idea.



I wanted to compare two different maps of the same region to attempt to exemplify the rules discussed in the article. These two maps serve different purposes and that idea is obvious by the different styles as well as what it includes and excludes. The top map I used a countless number of times my first year here at Purdue because it does it’s job well which I’ll assume to be as giving a clear layout of campus. You could technically zoom in further on the lower Google map, which would then show you building names but it doesn’t follow the rule of inclusion presented in the top. A lot of the times on my class schedule it would merely say XXX417 where XXX was the building code, like EE for Electrical Engineering Building. If your class was in RAIL for example, I’m unable to find this on Google Maps without typing the exact name “American Railway Building” information that is not readily available, but the location is easily found on the top map.  Whereas the bottom map seems to be more tailored for roadway navigation, only including major landmarks around Purdue, as well as including landmarks such as ponds. You could perhaps use the top map as a sort of translator for the bottom map, should you have to use GPS to find the building for your class. A lot of the times it was hard to Google the name of a building just based off the short code given in my class schedule.

While this article was over maps, I feel the general idea of rules of inclusion and exclusion can also apply to our infographics, I feel that was probably why this was included as a reading. How could we apply these rules or re-engineer these ideas to our infographics with that in mind?


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