URBAN CARTOGRAPHY AND THE MAPPING OF CHICAGO*

Authors


  • *

    The work presented here was initiated when I was privileged to participate in “Popular Cartography and Society,” a summer institute on the history of cartography hosted by the Newberry Library in Chicago and sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. At the Newberry, I am indebted to the staff of the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography and especially to Jim Akerman. I extend thanks to my colleagues Guntram Herb, Anne Knowles, and Tamar Mayer for their insightful comments on earlier versions of the manuscript. The article also benefited substantially from the comments of three anonymous reviewers.

Abstract

ABSTRACT. City maps are among the oldest and most popular forms of cartographic representation, yet urban cartography has received only limited scholarly attention. A review of the early history of city mapping suggests a progression of representational forms from profile to perspective to plan, a progression that parallels urban growth. The history of urban mapping reflects a desire to comprehend the geography of the city for reasons of curiosity and practical necessity, but the map also may become an icon that engenders a sense of pride and belonging, if not allegiance and control. An examination of Chicago maps indicates that, in addition to evolution in representational styles, the subjects of maps change to serve demands of the moment. City maps not only constitute a rich historical archive but also are dynamic agents in urban development. The urban landscape is shaped by cartographic vision.

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