Mapping the Deep Blue Oceans

In Timothy Tambassi (ed.), The Philosophy of GIS. pp. 99-123 (2019)
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The ocean terrain spanning the globe is vast and complex—far from an immense flat plain of mud. To map these depths accurately and wisely, we must understand how cartographic abstraction and generalization work both in analog cartography and digital GIS. This chapter explores abstraction practices such as selection and exaggeration with respect to mapping the oceans, showing significant continuity in such practices across cartography and contemporary GIS. The role of measurement and abstraction—as well as of political and economic power, and sexual and personal bias—in these sciences is illustrated by the biographies of Marie Tharp and Bruce Heezen, whose mapping of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge precipitated a paradigm shift in geology.
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