Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Here is another map we have featured in our 'Mapping Manchester' exhibition in the Rylands Library. It is a nice example of transport mapping displayed in 'Car and the City' cabinet that focuses on surveys and plans of car travel and new road schemes.

Flowline map reproduced from
S.E.L.N.E.C. A Highway Plan, 1962

(Courtesy of Chetham's Library)
The daily flow of vehicle traffic on major routes into Manchester is dramatised here as black arterials that converge on the city centre, nearly obliterating places unlucky enough to be underneath. The map indicates in a powerful fashion that traffic volumes were overwhelming current capacity.
The car and the city

The rapid expansion of car ownership since the 1950s has had a profound effect on Manchester. New routes have cut across the city and many roads have been widened and reconfigured. The planners responsible for these new highways have relied on a multitude of maps and models.

The map displayed here is the triumphal product of the South-East Lancashire and North-East Cheshire Area Highway Engineering Committee. The flagship representation of their 1962 Highway Plan set forth the need for numerous road building schemes deemed essential once funds became available. It symbolises the hopes of the early 1960s that visionary planning could, through scientific analysis, improve the functioning of roads and thus the efficiency of the city region. Much of this grand vision was never realised, although some key aspects of the inner and outer ring roads have come to pass, albeit in a the piecemeal fashion. What has become the M60 orbital motorway took until 2000 to realise.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rethinking Maps: New Frontiers in Cartographic Theory

Edited by Martin Dodge, Rob Kitchin and Chris Perkins

Our edited book is finally out in print. Its taken a while as it started life as a session at the RGS-IBG conference in August 2006.

The book contains 12 original chapters. Unfortunately, it is only published in hardback and is tad expensive. Also, the cover is rather bland; Routledge would not use our nice design idea of a blank map.

1. Thinking about Maps
By Rob Kitchin, Chris Perkins and Martin Dodge

2. Rethinking Maps and Identity: Choropleths, Clines and Biopolitics
By Jeremy W. Crampton

3. Rethinking Maps from a more-than-human Perspective: Nature-society, Mapping, and Conservation Territories
By Leila Harris and Helen Hazen

4. Web mapping 2.0
By Georg Gartner

5. Modelling the Earth: A Short History
By Michael F. Goodchild

6. theirwork: the Development of Sustainable Mapping
By Dominica Williamson and Emmet Connolly

7. Cartographic Representation and the Construction of Lived Worlds: Understanding Cartographic Practice as Embodied Knowledge
By Amy Propen

8. The 39 Steps and the Mental Map of Classical Cinema
By Tom Conley

9. The Emotional Life of Maps and Other Visual Geographies
By Jim Craine and Stuart Aitken

10. Playing with Maps
By Chris Perkins

11. Ce n.est pas le Monde [This is not the world]
By John Krygier and Denis Wood

12. Mapping Modes, Methods and Moments: A Manifesto for Map Studies
By Martin Dodge, Chris Perkins and Rob Kitchin

Page proof versions of chapters 1 and 12 can also be read online.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The 'view from nowhere'? Spatial politics and cultural significance of high-resolution satellite imagery

The theme issue I have been co-editing with Chris Perkins is now officially published in Geoforum. There are five papers and a fairly lengthy introductory essay from us.

Geoforum, vol. 40, No. 4, July 2009

Edited by Martin Dodge and Chris Perkins


1. Theme introduction: The 'view from nowhere'? Spatial politics and cultural significance of high-resolution satellite imagery
Martin Dodge, Chris Perkins

2. Walter Benjamin's Dionysian Adventures on Google Earth
Paul Kingsbury, John Paul Jones III

3. NGOs as intelligence agencies: The empowerment of transnational advocacy networks and the media by commercial remote sensing in the case of the Iranian nuclear program
Sean Aday, Steven Livingston

4. Placemarks and waterlines: Racialized cyberscapes in post-Katrina Google Earth
Michael Crutcher, Matthew Zook

5. Digging into Google Earth: An analysis of 'Crisis in Darfur'
Lisa Parks

6. Satellite imagery and the spectacle of secret spaces
Chris Perkins, Martin Dodge

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Over the next few weeks I will post scans of some of the maps and plans we have featured in our 'Mapping Manchester' exhibition in the Rylands Library. To start with 'Wealth and Poverty' cabinet that focused on surveys and plans of housing conditions and new development schemes.

Sales map for the Oaks Estate, 1843
(Courtesy of Manchester City Library and Archives)

Wealth and Poverty

Manchester’s burst of population growth in the first half of the nineteenth century brought with it severe housing problems. By the 1840s the ‘Shock City’ became notorious for its slums.

Concerted efforts from social reformers to improve the housing of the poor can be seen in the cartographic results of their surveys. Richard Bastow’s survey in the late 1880s mapped out the age of housing as part of a sanitary campaign, and in 1904 a report on housing conditions, produced by The Citizens’ Association of Manchester, included a detailed map of housing quality. The areas of worst housing were shaded in dark colours, and the map shows a cluster which almost completely encircles the commercial core of the city. (A nice online interface to this map is availabile here.)

From the mid-nineteenth century private estates of substantial suburban villas were constructed, away from the poverty and crime of the inner neighbourhoods, for the affluent beneficiaries of Manchester’s industrial prosperity. An example of these developments can be seen in the sales map for the Oaks Estate, planned in 1843 (shown above). In its bucolic design, individual houses are arranged in their own wooded grounds with curving driveways. The area of Oaks Estate is now occupied by the, not quite so elite, Owens Park student halls of residence of the University of Manchester!