The maps of Alexander Königs are amazing. I was impressed by the beauty, magnificence and force of the nature in “Los Lagos” region at Chile. Usually, the geographical sciences and the cartography play mind games with some representations about the reality in maps.
At school I learned a rule about maps: the maps show a portion of consented the reality, specially a scaled version of the reality. That is the official version, but the unofficial version is very scary: the maps show a scaled portion of a particular reality filled with history, politics interests and cultural roots of the person or institution who creates the map.
That’s the reason because the worldwide maps shows the north hemisphere at the upper part, and the southern hemisphere at downer part. And, the 80% of people thinks unconsciously that the north is up and the south is down.
When I visited Manhattan last year, I try to orientate myself, but it was a hard work. I changed my compass totally: I came from the Pacific Ocean, and I arrived to the Atlantic Ocean. I used to see the sunsets at the ocean in the west every day, but in Manhattan I can’t.
The power of representation is a key factor in the development of urban spaces and the management of landscapes. The representations of the urban space in the maps is a good sign who tells us how vibrant or ruined is a city. If the city is vibrant and knows how to sell the best attractions to the visitors and their inhabitants, is usually a map the best – and cheaper – way to do that.
If their citizens are proud of their city, they promotes the best places of it. And internet sites like Tripadvisor or Lonely Planet do the most of the job, so… City governments are really, really back of the line in citizen’s places preference for travelling or have fun in urban spaces.
The professionals of urban planning and landscape research must to be creative people and it must to be prepared for changes and to take advantage of the inner potentials of cities. Specially they must see the good ideas in other places of the world and try to extract the best ideas of them, but not with the copy/paste culture. As Toni Puig said: “the urban planners and urban designers always must to travel for imaging the best cities with unique city brands.” (more…)