Mapping Our World
An examination of the history of cartography emphasizing the role of maps as records and symbols of the progress of civilization and the expansion of knowledge about our world.
Three lectures; one term Prerequisite(s): Registration in Level II or above. Completion of GEOG 1HA3 or 1HB3 is recommended.
Time/Term Offered:Term One Spring 2013
Instructor: Dr. Walt Peace
Room: General Science Building Rm. 201
Tel:(905) 525.9149 x23517
Office hours: By appointment
“It is not down in any map.
True places never are.”
Herman Melville, Moby Dick
“In thy face I see the map of honour, truth, and loyalty.”
William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part III
How do we ‘see’ the world? How do we depict or represent the world we see? What is the best way to record our knowledge of our world? The purpose of this course is to examine the way in which maps reflect how we see and understand our geographical world. While maps are the essential and most basic tool of geography, given the discipline’s focus on the spatial dimensions of phenomena, their value extends well beyond their utility. Maps are records of knowledge, communication devices, reflections of dreams and aspirations, and proclamations of achievement, among other things. This course explores the messages and meanings that lie behind the maps we create.
The objectives of this course are:
1. To study the nature and character of maps;
2. To explore the role played by maps in our cultural evolution; and
3. To foster an appreciation of maps as geographic and historic records; as sources of identity; and as works of art.
Tuesday, Thursday; 1:00-4:00 p.m.; BSB 106
Required Text Books/Course materials:
Thrower, N.J.W. 2008. Maps and Civilization: Cartography in Culture and Society (Third edition) University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Your final mark in the course will be determined as follows:
Mid-term test 25%
Final Exam 50%
You are expected to attend all classes and complete all required readings. I prefer to conduct course-related business in person. Please feel free to ask questions before, during, or after class as appropriate, or see me during my office hours. Please do not send e-mail questions which require lengthy responses, e.g., “How do I do this assignment?” Such questions cannot be properly answered by email. Please see me in person with questions of this nature.
Academic dishonesty consists of misrepresentation by deception
or by other fraudulent means and can result in serious consequences,
e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation
on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for
academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s
own or for which other credit has been obtained.
Improper collaboration in group work.
Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes
academic dishonesty. For information on the various kinds of academic
dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at http://www.mcmaster.ca/policy/Students-AcademicStudies/AcademicIntegrity.pdf
The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.