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Foreshadowing Contemporary Digital Cartography: A Historical Review of Cinematic Maps in Films

Title:

Foreshadowing Contemporary Digital Cartography: A Historical Review of Cinematic Maps in Films

Caquard, Sébastien (2009) Foreshadowing Contemporary Digital Cartography: A Historical Review of Cinematic Maps in Films. The Cartographic Journal, 46 (1). pp. 46-55. ISSN 1743-2774

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/000870409X415589

Abstract

Through an historical review of cinematic maps – or 'cinemaps' – this paper argues that contemporary digital cartography was conceptualized in films. This argument is first developed through a discussion of the emergence of animated maps in docudramas of the 1910s. These early cinemaps were followed by more sophisticated examples that foreshadowed the structure and design principles of 'modern' cartography. The cinemap that appears in the movie M (Fritz Lang, 1931) can be considered the first 'modern' map as it prefigures many of the current functions of contemporary digital cartography such as the combination image/map, use of sound, shifts in perspective and spatial analysis. The remaining functions of digital cartography, including zooming and live data rendering, were conceptualized in cinema by the 1960s, as illustrated by examples from movies such as Casablanca, Dr. Strangelove and Goldfinger. When professional cartographers were creating their first animated maps, most of the functions of contemporary digital cartography had already been implemented in cinema. Building on these results, the paper anticipates the future incursion of mapping technologies into interpersonal, confidential and private spaces through the study of contemporary cinemaps.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Caquard, Sébastien
Journal or Publication:The Cartographic Journal
Date:2009
Keywords:cinematic maps, digital cartography, virtual globes, cinema
ID Code:36100
Deposited By:SEBASTIEN CAQUARD
Deposited On:15 Dec 2011 16:17
Last Modified:15 Dec 2011 16:17
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