Maps have a great influence on our individual perception of the world. Some people maintain this point of view while others argue with it. As far as I’m concerned, I support the first issue.
On the one hand, many people suppose that maps have a good impact on our perception of how the world works. Firstly, they say, it helps to form our worldview. And in its turn this is useful for our range of vision, development. Secondly, maps permit us to compare our location with other cities and countries and to make conclusions on this basis.
On the other hand, some people are in a position of thinking that maps affect our perception of the world badly. They say due to the thing the world is round, mapmakers have to choose between various qualities for their flat maps. One might be faithful to area, but at the cost of, say positions of various places. Another may be true to positions and area, but the map is hard to understand. So our perception will be different depending on which map we pick up. We can even take an old map that is untrue now.
In addition every person has a subjective perception. And as a post-impressionist Paul Gauguin said, “Out in the sun, some painters are lined up. The first is copying nature, the second is copying the first, the third is copying the second… You see the sequence.” As we try to understand the issues we work with, are we merely the third or tenth painter and very often it’s very hard to struggle to look freshly, to see maps for what they really are.
In this essay I have examined the way maps may influence people’s perception of the world. Different types of maps a really contribute to the outlook. However, they can give a distorted view of the generally accepted reality. Overall, then, I think that a map is a useful invention of mankind and we only have to be attentive and impersonal.