Some say it’s all about the journey, not the destination. Many maps function as wayfinding devices for human travelers, delineating the names and shapes of geographic locations as they navigate. They also communicate information and ideas about different regions of the globe. In “Dissemination,” maps reveal how goods and ideas circulated. Four subsections comprise this theme: “Knowledge,” “Beliefs,” “Materials,” and “Nature” reflect journeys taken.
First, “Knowledge” explores ways in which ideas and objects circulate around the globe together. “Beliefs” then examines the aspirations of cartographers to map the world anew in relation to colonialism and missionary work. Next, “Materials” investigates the representation of architecture and built environments to question the purpose and significance of these structures in cartographic narratives. Finally, “Nature,” discusses real and fantastical depictions of plants and animals, from giant pineapples to sea monsters. Maps from these four subsections invite you to observe details on the surface and engage with their historical implications.