Reading maps as plans : changing perceptions of Delhi
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
MetadataShow full item record
The common perception of maps as 'scientific' images and objective records of topographic features has undermined the role of ideology in their evolving form and use. This thesis contends that the structuring of maps and map content is not only a function of available technique and existing topography, but is also related to prevailing social and political values in the city that motivate its form of development. The thesis rests on the premise that maps are not value free representations but deliberate interpretations through selective representation. In reading maps as plans, it seeks to uncover a latent socio-political intention in the very act of map making. The relationship between maps and the city is explored in the specific historical context of Delhi from the seventeenth century to the present. The development of the cartographic representation of the city is looked at in parallel with the development of the city. This simultaneous analysis is an attempt to correlate cartographic fact with the context within which it was produced. It is an exploratory research on the influence of the city on maps and map making, and the potential influence of map knowledge on the city. The nature of the interaction between map and context that emerges from this study verifies the thesis that transformations in the form and content of maps can be attributed to changing values in the city as much as to its changing morphology. Without intending to be an explicit symbol or metaphor, a map -- even in its 'scientific' documentary role -- can represent social and political inclinations of society, encode prevailing theories of urban form, and -- through its instrumentality -- become a participant in future developments in the city.
Thesis (M.S.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1994.Includes bibliographical references (p. 111-113).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology