Displacing cartographic convention to the realm of text

“How many maps, in the descriptive or geographical sense, might be needed to deal exhaustively with a given space, to code and decode all its meanings and contents? It is doubtful whether a finite number can ever be given in answer to this sort of question. What we are most likely confronted with here is a sort of instant infinity, a situation reminiscent of a Mondrian painting. It is not only the codes –the map’s legend, the conventional signs of map-making and map-reading –that are liable to change, but also the lens through which they are viewed, and the scale used. The idea that a small number of maps or even a single (and singular) map might be sufficient can only apply in a spatialised area of study whose own self-affirmation depends on isolation from its context”.

Henri Lefebvre (1991:85-86) The Production of Space


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