Segal & Vannieuwenhuyze (eds.)
Motion in Maps, Maps in Motion
Edited by Zef Segal and Bram Vannieuwenhuyze
Motion in Maps, Maps in Motion
Motion in Maps, Maps in Motion
Mapping Stories and Movement through Time
Zef Segal and Bram Vannieuwenhuyze
Amsterdam University Press
Cover image: A Nightcl ub Map of Harlem, drawn by Elmer Simm s Campbell in 1932 (Washington,
Librar y of Congress, Geography and Map Div ision, 20540-4650 USA dcu).
Cover desig n: Coördesign, Leiden
Lay-out: Crius Group, Hulshout
978 94 6372 1 10 3
e- 978 90 4854 295 6
©Z. Sega l, B. Vannieuwenhuyze / Amsterda m University Press B.V., Amsterdam 2020
All r ights reserved. Wit hout limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this book
may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or tra nsmitted, in any form or
by any mea ns (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recordi ng or otherwise) without the w ritten
permission of both the copyright ow ner and the author of the book.
Every efort has been made to obtain permission to use a ll copyrighted illustrat ions reproduced in
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Table of Contents
List of Figures
List of Diagrams
1. The New World Map and the Old
The Moving Narrative of Joan Blaeu’s Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula (1648)
2. Entangled Maps
Topography and Narratives in Early Modern Story Maps*
3. Flow Mapping through the Times
The Transition from Harness to Nazi Propaganda
4. The Tensions of Heterochronicity on Cartographies of Imperial Motion
5. A School Atlas as a History Machine: The Bosatlas Online
6. Facebook Cartographies and the Mapping of Local History
Storied Maps from the American Middletown
7. ‘Change-of-State’ in the History of Cartography
List of Figures
Figure1 Ebstorf mappa mundi, thirteenth century. 15
Figure2 A Nightclub Map of Harlem, drawn by Elmer Simms Campbell
in 1932. 20
Figure3 Second state of the map of Leyden, besieged by the Spanish
army in 1574. 24
Figure4 Joan Blaeu’s wall map of the world, published in 1648. 36
Figure5 Detail: the North Sea and the surrounding lands. How the
Netherlands extend into the sea. 40
Figure6 Detail: the inland of South America. Enslaved Africans at work
and barbarous ‘Indians’. 45
Figure7 Detail: the Copernican heliocentric system on top of the world. 50
Figure8 Detail: the dedication to Bracamonte and the geocentric
systems of Ptolemy and Tycho attached to the old world. 51
Figure9 Siege map of Lingen in Willem Baudartius’ Nassausche
Oorlogen (Amsterdam: Michiel Colĳn, 1616), fol. 796-797. 58
Figure10 Baptista van Doetecum’s map showing Willem Barentz’ three
sailing trips to the Arctic (Amsterdam: Cornelis Claesz, 1598). 58
Figure11 The bird’s-eye view of the besieged city of Ypres by Guillaume
du Tielt, about 1610. 62
Figure12 The image of Our Lady of the Tuine with the chronogram and
the cartouche with the bishop’s crosier and two crossed lances. 63
Figure13 The letters of the legend highlighted in red on the map. 65
Figure14 Copper engraving entitled Flandria Borealis. 68
Figure15 Title page of the Belägerung von Ostende, an anonymous
German journal of the siege of Ostend until January1604. 71
Figure16 Abraham Hogenbergs earlier bird’s-eye view of Sluis, with the
rst episodes of the siege in May1604. 73
Figure17 Floris Balthasarsz van Berckenrodes news map of Maurits’
Flemish Campaign, August1604. 74
Figure18 The rst ow map ever made. Map IV ‘Shewing the relative
number of passengers in diferent directions’, in Henry Drury
Harness, Atlas to accompany 2d report of the Railway Commis-
sioners Ireland 1838 (1838). 83
Figure19 The South Atlantic Ocean segment of the ‘Chart of the world’
by Heinrich Berghaus, published by Perthes Publishing (1879). 88
Figure20 ‘The commercial highways of the world’, in: J.G. Bartholomew,
Atlas of the World’s Commerce (London: G. Newnes, 1907). 91
Figure21 ‘Means of transport and communication’ in: George Philip,
Putnam’s Economic Atlas (London: G. Philip, 1925). 93
Figure22 ‘Gerste’, in: Walther Schmidt and Georg Heise,Welthandels-
atlas. Produktion, Handel Und Konsum Der Wichtigsten
Welthandelsgüter (Berlin: Columbus-Verlag, 1927). 96
Figure23 Three types of ow maps published in John P. Goode, Goode’s
School Atlas (New York: Rand McNally, 1923). 98
Figure24 ‘The races of the modern times’, in: Bernhard Kumsteller,
Werden und Wachsen, (Braunschweig: Westermann, 1938). 100
Figure25 Nagakubo Sekisui 長久保赤水, Daishinkoku dōtei zu (‘Road
map of the Great Qing’), from Tōdo rekidai shūgun enkaku
zu 唐土歴代州郡沿革図 (‘Historical Atlas of China’), 1789,
colour woodblock print. 109
Figure26 Hiyama Tansai 檜山坦斎, Jinmu Tennō tōkyoku zu 神武天
皇登極圖 (‘Map of Emperor Jingu’s Accession’), from Honchō
kokugun kenchi enkaku zusetsu 本朝国郡建置沿革図説
(‘Historical Atlas of Provinces of Our Realm’), 1823, colour
woodblock-print, 58 by 56.5cm. 111
Figure27 Hiyama Tansai 檜山坦斎, Map of Empress Jingu’s Routes from
Honchō kokugun kenchi enkaku zusetsu 本朝国郡建 置沿革図
説 (‘Historical Atlas of Provinces of Our Realm’), 1823, colour
woodblock-print, 58 by 56.5cm. 113
Figure28 Tsumaki Chūta 妻木忠太, Chōsen hantō no fukuzoku to
bunbutsu no denrai 朝 鮮 半 島 の 服 属 と文 物の傳来 (‘The
Subjugation of the Korean Peninsula and the Transmission
of Writings’), from Saishin Nihon rekishi kaisetsu 最新日本歴
史解釈 (‘Japanese History Explained According to the Latest
Sources’), 1917, colour copperplate print. 116
Figure29 Tsumaki Chūta 妻木忠太, Jinmu Tennō no sōgyō 神武天 皇の
創業 (‘Emperor Jinmu’s Founding’), from Saishin Nihon rekishi
kaisetsu 最 新日本歴史 解釈 (‘Japanese History Explained
According to the Latest Sources’), 1917, colour copperplate print. 117
Figure30 Author Unknown, Emperor Jinmu and Map of Japan, 1920,
collotype, color lithograph, ink and metallic pigment on card
stock, 13.8 by 8.8cm. 119
Figure31 Nishioka Toranosuke 西岡虎之 助 and Hattori Shisō 服部之
総, Dai Nihon rekishi chizu 大日本歴史地図 (‘Historical Maps
of Japan’), 1956. 121
Figure32 Detail of the Noord-Brabant provincial map in the 1921 edition
of the Bosatlas with a caption about the breaching of the
Meuse dykes [size 4x7cm]. 130
Figure33 Detail of the administrative map of Europe, as shown on
consecutive editions of the Bosatlas a: 1919; b: 1921; c: 1922; d:
1923; e: 1924. 131
Figure34 Detail from the world map on colonies and trac from the
1899 fourteenth edition of the Bosatlas. 134
Figure35 Part of South America in the 1877 (above) and 1936 (below)
editions of the Bosatlas. The lines linking Pacic ports at
right are telegraph lines, constructed by American or British
Figure36 Detail of the map of the Habsburg Empire from the 1912
edition of the Bosatlas [11x15cm]. 142
Figure37 Detail of Drenthe province in the 1897 edition of the Bosatlas. 144
Figure38 Rotterdam Port as rendered in the nineteenth edition of the
Bosatlas, published in 1910. 148
Figure39 Detail of the Rotterdam port map from the thirty-seventh
edition of the Bosatlas, published in 1947. 150
Figure40 A word cloud of the denition of deep map (image by author). 157
Figure41 Muncietown, Laid out in the Year 1826 by Act of Legislature
(Anonymous, 1826). 159
Figure42 O.H. Bailey, Bird’s Eye View of Muncie, Ind. (Cincinnati,
Strobridge Lithographing Company, 1872). 161
Figure43 Muncie, Indiana, Sanborn Map, Sheet 9 (New York: Sanborn
Perris Map Company, 1896). 162
Figure44 Screenshot of the Lost Muncie Facebook page (https://www.
Figure45 Finding Lost Muncie: Screenshots of map tour entry. 171
Figure46 Finding Lost Muncie: Screenshot of Story Map Shortlist. 172
Figure47 Julius Hilgard’s centrographic map in the 1874 Statistical Atlas
of the United States used the mean centre of population to
describe the westward advance of the country’s population
near the northern 39th Parallel. 179
Figure48 The Carte Figurative des pertes successives en hommes de
l’Armée Française dans la campagne de Russie 1812-1813,
showing the successive losses of French soldiers during the
Russian Campaign in 1812-1813. 181
Figure49 Souvenir weather map for the evening of 27May1896, distri-
buted by the US Weather Bureau, to publicize its successful
forecast that morning of an outbreak of ‘tornadoes and violent
local storms’, marked with red crosses. Faint patches of red
squares and triangles are read-through images of warning
signals printed on the opposite side. 182
List of Diagrams
Diagram 1 A graph showing the percentage of commercial atlases
published between 1837 and 1939 that contain ow maps.
Source: Atlas collection at the Library of Congress. 85
Jörn Seemann, Zef Segal, and Bram Vannieuwenhuyze
Maps are movement
For many people, maps are still conceived as two-dimensional graphic repre-
sentations of spatial arrangements, printed or drawn on paper, included in a
book, posted against a wall or, more recently, seen on a computer or smartphone
screen. From this perspective, maps remain static documents, ofering a range
of lifeless geodata such as landscape objects (buildings, rivers, roads, mountains,
swamps, etc.), surface areas (parcels of land, parishes, communes, cities, states,
continents, etc.) and/or their thematic attributes (population densities, outbreak
of diseases, levels of education, etc.). The function of maps is limited to location
(what is where) and the physical space of the representation (printed or digital) only
serves as a receptacle or repository for information. For their part, cartographers
tended, and still tend, to map stable phenomena to endow their products with
‘greater longevity if not greater utility,’ and also to shift ‘the burden of dealing
with environmental temporality’ to the map users.1 In other words, ‘[b]y making
maps of relatively static features, cartographers may simplify their job, but they
largely ignore the fact that time is a vital part of the map user’s world.’
As a result
of this limited and limiting notion of maps, both movement and temporality are
put in the background, stripping cartographic representations of their temporal
depth, spatial dynamicity, and, equally important, of their potential and power
as storytelling devices.
However, many old and new maps provide far more than just a static represen-
tation of spatial arrangements. Numerous examples of maps present narratives
(e.g. wars and sieges, natural disasters, building campaigns, and miraculous
events) and movement (e.g. trac ows, pilgrimages, migration patterns,
discoveries, weather changes, and trade routes). They visualize a particular
(hi)story that happened ‘in’ the mapped landscape or territory, and spread the
1 Muehrcke and Muehrcke, Map Use, p.160; see also Harrower, ‘Time’, p.1528.
2 Muehrcke a nd Muehrcke, Map Use, p.162 .
Segal, Z. and B. Vannieuwenhuyze, Motion in Maps, Maps in Motion: Mapping Stories and Movement
through Time. Amsterdam: Am sterdam University Press, 2020
JÖRN SEEMANN, ZEF SEGAL, AND BRAM VANNIEUWENHUYZE
news of one or more events; they show the directions, extent, and importance
of ows of people, goods, physical phenomena, or societal trends. In addition,
their production and consumption is always connected to ows of material and
In this introductory chapter, we will discuss some current themes in the on-
going research on interrelations between mapping, motion, and narratives, and
demonstrate the mutual existence of these elements in a thirteenth-century map
and a twenty-rst-century digital concept. We aim to focus the attention of map
historiography on the diverse aspects of mobility, rather than the static depictions
of the past. As the chapters in this volume eloquently demonstrate, maps do move,
and in many diverse ways, whether in their content, production process, or usage.
The six case studies range from seventeenth-century Dutch theatres of the world to
the mapping of the present and the past in an American town through the lens of
social media, from historical Japanese maps to Dutch school atlases, each showcasing
diferent types of movement, relevant to its particular historical context, and the
‘emplotment’ of these movements in (series of) maps.
Movement in maps: e Ebstorf mappa mundi as example
The famous Ebstorf mappa mundi from the thirteenth century may serve as an
early example to point out the dynamic elements of maps that are characterized
by narratives and movements in a broader sense, resulting in what we label ‘story
maps’ and ‘motion maps’. Supposedly drawn in the Northern German monastery of
Ebstorf and destroyed during World War II, the map is divided into thirty parchment
sheets and spans an area of more than twelve square metres (Figure1).
shape symbolizes the body of Christ, indicated by a pair of hands, feet, and a head
on the top of the image, next to a representation of Paradise. As a medieval T-O-style
map, the Ebstorf mappa mundi puts Jerusalem at its centre, with the rest of the
world literally spinning around the sacred city.
The map contains approximately 1,500 text references (mere place names or
detailed descriptions) and the depiction of 500 edi ces, 160 water bodies, sixty
islands and mountains, forty- ve human or human-like beings, and about sixty
There are many parallels between this map and present-day story maps
that convey messages, stories, facts, and sometimes fantasies or fake news. On the
one hand, pictures of curious animals and humans with strange anatomies and
qualities described in a Marco-Polo-esque style are used to tell stories of remote
3 Miller, Kurze Erklärung der Weltkarte, p.11.
4 Warnke, ‘ Das Thema ist die ganze Welt’, p.269 .
and unknown places, e.g. the four-eyed maritimi in Northern Africa who excel
in archery, or the birds in the forests of Hyrcania, southeast of the Caspian Sea,
whose feathers glow in the dark. On the other hand, locations closer to Europe
and the known world, including Ebstorf itself, are only simple locations, depicted
by words or drawings on the parchment. As a complex visual statement from the
Middle Ages, the Ebstorf map serves multiple purposes: as an encyclopaedia for
education; as an iconographic argument to document God’s creation; a devotional
image; a political symbol of power; a world chronicle depicting medieval histories
and worldviews; an illustrated Bible; a collection of myths and legends or even
Figure1: Ebstorf mappa mundi, thirteenth century (Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/
JÖRN SEEMANN, ZEF SEGAL, AND BRAM VANNIEUWENHUYZE
anecdotes for entertainment; a zoological handbook; and, most obviously, as a
In addition to its multiple storytelling contents and function, the Ebstorf mappa
mundi re ects various types of movement, as do many other maps. Movement could be
physical, since the mapping process includes the motion of information: ‘Throughout
history and across diferent cultures, oral and written stories have been recounted
to map-makers by travellers and sailors, surveyors and artists, even writers and
theologians. As map-makers assimilate these narratives, they in turn create their
own g raphic stories about the places they represent.’
In order to obtain information
about the places on the Ebstorf map, someone had to go there physically to report on
this news. Furthermore, rumours or stories about a place had to spread geographically
before they reached the mapmaker at the Ebstorf monastery. Movement was also
intellectual. Maps t hat represent the same themes, use similar production techniques
(e.g. colours or symbols), and were produced during the same era, or published in the
same place, reveal an intellectual movement expressed through changes, errata, and
the introduction of new ideas. The Ebstorf map, for example, was certainly inspired
by previous medieval works (e.g. Isidore of Seville’s T-in-O map in his Etymologiae)
and possibly served as a template for other car tographic depictions (e.g. the Hereford
mappa mundi or Ranulf Higden’s world map in his Polychronicon). The comparison of
maps from diferent places and times provides ideas about changes in map contents
and cartographic design in a broader context of cartographic history.
In addition, both the map and its users were and are in motion. This type of
movement is accentuated and accelerated nowadays through digital mediums.
With the emergence and spread of new cartographic applications and visualization
technologies, many old maps, including the Ebstorf map, are now accessible online,
not only as simple rasterized and downloadable digital images, but also through
interactive interfaces that help map users navigate through the map space. Digital
versions open up new perspectives on and relationships with maps because the users
can literally be ‘inside’ them, adapt them, or add data. The Ebstorf mappa mundi
is an early example of transferring analogue maps to digital environments. Since
the end of the 1980s, the EbsKART digitization project at the Leuphana University
(Lüneburg, Germany) has been working on a user-friendly, navigable online version
of the document, which allows the reader to explore the map.7
5 Pischke, ‘The Ebstorf Map’, p.157.
6 Brotton and M illea, Talk ing Map s, p.9.
7 See t he webpage http://ww w2.leupha na.de/ebskar t/ (access ed 16December2019). The Belgi an MAGIS
Brugge proje ct is a more recent ex ample, which ta kes Marcus G erards’ si xteenth-c entury bir d’s- eye view
of Bruges a s the base layer f or a searchable web dat abase on the hi story of the med ieval and ea rly modern
city, see http://magis.kaartenhuisbrugge.be (accessed 31Januar y2020) and also Vannieuwenhuyze and
Vernackt , ‘Digital Thematic Deconstruction’, pp.26-30.
Mapping stories and motion
This volume focuses on the multiple and diverse relationships that exist between
maps and cartography, on the one hand, and narratives and motion on the other.
According to John Brian Harley and David Woodward’s widespread de nition of
maps as ‘graphic representations that facilitate a spatial understanding of things,
concepts, conditions, processes, or events in the human world,’ maps can indeed
include or present narratives and motion.
While the Oxford English Dictionary
denes ‘narrative’ as ‘an account of a series of events, facts, etc., given in order and
with the establishing of connections between them,’ the term ‘motion’ in its more
general sense is considered as ‘the action or process of moving or being moved,
with respect to place or position.’ Although both narratives and motion can – and
mostly do – have a spatial compound and thus can be mapped, they only rarely
raised interest among map historians. During the last decades, however, the spatial
and digital turns in the eld of the Humanities have resulted in a large number
of publications investigating the relations between society and space, culture and
place. From a cartographic point of view, one major concern is about how to visualize
narratives, ows, processes, and ideas that have been widely deemed ‘unmappable’,
or – in a conventional cartographic sense – impossible to represent on a map
due to their subjectivity, locational fuzziness, instability, and the randomness of
their contents. Going beyond the map as we know it, scholars are now searching
for alternative types of maps that capture movements and practices, following a
shift from representation towards action, ‘from considering texts as the bearers of
culture, toward performative ways of knowing the world, in which the dynamic
aspects of culture matter.’9
A current buzzword is ‘deep map’, a term introduced by the American travel
writer William Least Heat-Moon in his in-depth exploration of place in Chase
County, Kansas from 1991.10 According to the English writer Robert MacFarlane,
deep maps reect place-related experiences in time and space and ‘acknowledge
the way memory and landscape layer and interleave.’11 Instead of hard data, these
maps are fed by mappable subjective values and ‘discursive and ideological di-
mensions of place, the dreams, hopes, and fears of residents’; in short, they are
‘positioned between matter and meaning.’
In the Digital Humanities, deep maps
are multimedia depictions of places with many details and even ephemeral data
8 Harley and Woodward, ‘ Preface’, p. xvi.
9 Perkins, ‘Performative and Embodied Mapping’, p.126.
10 Heat-Moon, PrairyErth.
11 MacFarlane, The Wild Places, p.1 45.
12 Bodenhamer, Corrigan and Har ris, ‘Introduction’, p.3.
JÖRN SEEMANN, ZEF SEGAL, AND BRAM VANNIEUWENHUYZE
that are closely related to everyday life. They are essentially ‘visual, time-based,
and structurally open’; in other words:
They are genuinely multimedia and multilayered. They do not seek authority or
objectivity but involve negotiation between insiders and outsiders, experts and
contributors, over what is represented and how. Framed as a conversation and
not a statement, deep maps are inherently unstable, continually unfolding and
changing in response to new data, new perspectives, and new insights.13
What does a deep map look like? There is no speci c general type. It can be an
austere-looking o cial topographic map, on which indigenous sub-Arctic hunters
pencil in their hunting grounds, shing sites, and berry picking places,14 or a 39 x
59 inches, foldable map showing the travel routes of the sixteenth-century French
explorer and cartographer Samuel de Champlain along the Saint Lawrence River
to the unknown backlands, in which both indigenous and European place names
and Champlain’s journal entries and imagined native dialogues appear as colour-
coded texts.15 Another example is the City Atlas Trilogy of the American writer
Rebecca Solnit, which focuses on cartographic deep mapping. Solnit has produced
alternative urban atlases of San Francisco, New Orleans, and New York, counting
on the skills, creativity, and imagination of collaborating artists and map-makers.
The resulting atlases cover a wide range of themes addressing forgotten topics and
marginalized populations from the past and present and combining improbable
topics in one common map; for example, ‘Poison/Palate’ depicts famous or unique
food places like the Ghiradelli chocolate factory and toxic waste disposals and
polluting industries in the Bay Area.
A Nightclub Map of Harlem, a pictorial map of night life in Harlem, New York
during the nal years of the Prohibition era in the United States, is another good
example (Figure2).17 Drawn by the American cartoonist Elmer Simms Campbell
in 1932, the map features nightclubs and music shows (e.g. singer Cab Calloway, tap
dancer Billy Bojangles, and pianist Garland Wilson), vignettes of common street
scenes, and tips for night-birds, concentrated between Lenox Avenue and Seventh
13 Bodenhamer, ‘Beyond GIS’, p.11.
14 Brody, Maps and Drea ms.
15 Pearce a nd Hermann, Th ey Would Not Take me There ; see also Pear ce, ‘Frami ng the Days’ and Pea rce
and Herm ann, ‘Mapping Champlain’s Travels’.
16 Solnit, Innite City; Idem, Unfathomable Cit y; Idem, Nonstop Metropoli s.
17 The map accompanied the folded newspaper Manhattan:A Weekly for Wakeful New Yorkers, 1933,
vol.1, nr.1. Lo ose copies can be foun d in Was hington, Libr ary of Congr ess, Geograph y and Map Division,
20540-4650 USA dcu and in Stanford, Stanford Libraries, Rare Books Collection, G3804 .N4:2 H3 E622
193 2 FF.
Avenue (today’s Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard). In the title, Campbell mentions
that ‘the places that are open all night’ are indicated by stars, including the ‘nice
new police station.’ Entertainment goes hand in hand with alcohol consumption,
but Campbell does not pin down the speakeasies, the illegal saloons, on his map,
‘but since there are about 500 of them, you won’t have any trouble [nding them].’
The map is a ‘compressed’ version of Upper Manhattan between 131st and 142nd
Avenues, emphasizing important clubs and omitting less relevant streets. The
northern end of Central Park appears in the upper left corner; the top of the map
is pointing southwest, as indicated by a compass rose in the lower right, which
serves as a resting place for drunkards.
The caricatured drawings of street scenes (e.g. the reefer man, the blind beggar,
and the food sellers) visualize the agitated nightlife in Harlem. The map captures
movements and actions, based on Campbell’s own personal experience and narrative
of this New Yorker neighbourhood in the early 1930s: ‘[p]art tourist guide, part spoof,
and part loving tribute, the map captures the boundless vitality of Harlem at the
height of its popularity.’
In his autobiography, Cab Calloway included a printed
copy of Campbell’s map on the front and back inside cover of the book and wrote
that ‘[i]t’s not an ordinary map, and it gave a better idea of what Harlem was like
in those days than I can give you with all these words. I always loved that map
and I still have the original in my o ce at home.’
Much like twenty-rst-century
deep maps, Campbell’s multi-layered map is the beginning of a discussion with the
viewer, rather than an objective and authoritarian map.
As ‘a kind of topographic story-telling that captures the spirit of a place and has a
political agenda,’ deep maps require ‘a methodological and intellectual move beyond
planar cartography to a more complex spatial-temporal assembling of multiple
kinds of evidence and media.’20 Accordingly, Robert MacFarlane distinguishes
between story maps and grid maps. Story maps are place representations as they
are perceived by individuals or groups. In a certain way, they are:
[s]poken cartographies, describing landscapes and the events that took place in
them. Maps that could be learned, amended and passed on between people and
down th rough generations. This distinctive crag, that tree-line, this bend in the river,
that rock at which this accident occurred, that tree where the hive was found: such
features would have been descr iptively plotted to make a route that was a lso a story.
18 Schulten, A His tory of America, p.190.
19 Calloway and Rollin s, Of Minnie the Moocher, p.119.
20 Rethinking Maps, p.91.
21 MacFarlane, The Wil d Places, pp.14 1-142; for ot her examples of t his kind of hum anistic m apping, see
Bar ry Lopez’s short s tory The Mappist a nd Richard Fra ncavigli a’s ca rtographic h istory of t he Great Basin
(Lopez, ‘The Mappist’; Francav iglia, Mapping and Imagination).
JÖRN SEEMANN, ZEF SEGAL, AND BRAM VANNIEUWENHUYZE
Figure2: A Nightclub Ma p of Harlem, drawn by Elmer Simms Campbell in 1932 (Washington, Libr ary of Congress, Geogr aphy and
Map Division, 20540-4650 USA dcu).
JÖRN SEEMANN, ZEF SEGAL, AND BRAM VANNIEUWENHUYZE
On the other hand, the grid map, a product of modern mapping practices that converts
place into geometric space, ‘celebrates precision, and suppresses touch, feel and
provisionality.’ The authority of grid maps eliminates ‘our sense of the worth of map-
Grid maps reproduce the rational ordering of space since the Renaissance,
representing spaces and places as detached from human experience.23 The spread
and success of these maps can be seen as products of – or may have contributed
to – what Max Weber has called the Entzauberung der Welt (the ‘disenchantment
of the world’), a process of rationalization, bureaucratization, and desacralization
within modern Western society, which leaves no place for religion, superstition,
magic, or mysticism.24 In cartography, the dogma reigned that any location can be
determined precisely, while spatial fuzziness, imprecisions, and temporal change
were ignored. In grid maps, the complex and dynamic world is reduced to static data.
However, story maps and grid maps do not belong to separate or even opposite
universes, and the former type is not scientically worthless, nor is the latter
humanistically insucient. Furthermore, deep mapping, or at least its charac-
teristics, is not necessarily a recent technique of cartography resulting from the
digital revolution, as it can be found in many old maps. In their introduction to the
exhibition catalogue Talking Maps, Jerry Brotton and Nick Millea rightly stressed
that all maps are ‘repositories of personal and collective knowledge, beliefs and
memories, brought together by their unique ability to combine science with art,
space with time, the visual and the written.’25
With the selection and juxtaposition of thematically, chronologically, and
methodologically diverse case studies in this volume, we also argue that motion
and change in time and space occupy a central position in map-making through
the times. In fact, maps are rarely truly static. There are at least four diferent
ways in which cartographic movement occurs. First, maps capture movement and
change in space and time to indicate geographical diferences and allow historical
comparisons. Second, a map is part of a mapping process, and not just a singular
product. These mappings are not restricted to the mathematical, but may also be
cultural, spiritual, political, or moral and take a measure of the world ‘in such a way
that it may be communicated between people, places or times .’
Third, maps entail
a user dimension. They might be dynamic and interactive, seeking to engage the
reader, who can frequently nd himself/herself inside the map, (virtually) navigate
through the map, and (literally) move with the map. Lastly, maps are contested
references from and of the past in all its complexity, diversity, and ambiguity.
22 MacFarlane, The Wild Places, p.1 43.
23 Harvey, The C ondition of Post modernit y, p.246.
24 Weber, Wissenschaft als Beruf, pp.16 and 36.
25 Brotton and Millea, Tal ki ng M aps , p.9.
26 Cosgrove, ‘Introduct ion’, p.2.
Narrative in/and cartography
There is another important element that characterizes story and motion maps:
the representation of ‘spatio-temporal structures of stories and their relationships
with places.’27 Maps can potentially ‘tell’ any kind of space- or place-related story
visually.28 Potentially, any map can function like a stor y, e.g. the use of the metaphor
‘talking maps’ as the title of a very recent exhibition at the Bodleian Libraries in
In recent years, and especially with the emergence of critical cartography,
cartographers, artists, writers, and journalists have increasingly become aware
of the strong links between cartography and narratives. Sébastien Caquard and
William Cartwright identi ed two main types of relationships: on the one hand,
maps have been used to ‘represent the spatiotemporal structures of stories and
their relationships with referential places’; on the other, both maps and mappings
have narrative potential themselves. However, in another publication, Caquard
distinguishes between three clear, and even fundamental, diferences between
what he calls ‘traditional forms of cartography’ and narratives:
While maps represent place and space, narratives are structured around time and
a sequence of events. While maps typically provide a panoptic view of the world
from above, narratives are often grounded, embodied perspectives. While maps
present themselves as scienti c and objective as possible, it is more dicult to
dissociate narratives from their author and sense of partial perspective.30
The existence of these distinctions possibly explains why it remains very di cult
to understand the narratives present in maps. When Jacinta Prunty and Howard
B. Clarke edited their guidebook to the Irish Historic Towns Atlas series, they chose
the title Reading the Maps, echoing the famous phrase ‘reading the runes’. Just like
runes, maps have an air of mystery about them, the editors argued, since ‘they make
extensive use of symbols and of conventions that need to be explained; they convey
messages about spatial arrangements in a three-dimensional present and early
maps do this in a four-dimensional past.’31 The metaphor is, of course, especially
relevant when it comes to ‘reading’ maps that ‘tell’ a story (and consequently, it
appears in nearly all chapters of the present volume).
Story and motion map
users are not only invited and challenged to interpret the spatial objects the maps
27 Caquard and Cartwr ight, ‘Narrative Ca rtography ’, p.101.
28 Caquard, ‘Cartography I’.
29 Brotton and Millea, Fi fty Maps, pp.7- 8; see also Brotton & Millea, Tal ki ng M aps .
30 Caquard, ‘ Narrative and Cartography ’, p.986.
31 Reading t he Maps, p. ix.
32 Vannieuwenhuyze, ‘Reading History Maps’.
JÖRN SEEMANN, ZEF SEGAL, AND BRAM VANNIEUWENHUYZE
present, but also to understand the stories and discourses that together form the
The narrative can be represented in gurative, abstract, or symbolic ways,
according to the requirements of the mapmakers and to cartographic tendencies
of the time. Sometimes, the map is all that is needed to present the story, or
stories. Campbell’s Nightclub Map of Harlem, for instance, releases its stories
directly. Map users face little trouble ‘reading’ this extremely appealing map,
overloaded with motion – although their readings possibly do not correspond
with the story or stories the map-maker wanted to tell. In many other cases,
narratives and motion are much more di cult to discern and interpret, either
because the mapped storylines are extremely interlaced, or because they are
scarce, scattered, or fragmented. Map users and historians must then denitely
take into account the so-called paramap,
as is the case, for instance, with the
seemingly motionless map of Leyden in the second volume of Georg Braun and
33 For a discussion of this concept, derived from Gerard Genette’s ‘paratext’, see Wood and Fels, Th e
Natur es of Maps, pp.8-12 .
Figure3: Second state of the map of Leyden, besieged by the Spanish army in 1574 (Amsterdam, Allard Pierson, OTM:
HB-KZL O.K . 199).
Frans Hogenberg’s famous Civitates Orbis Terrarum, edited for the rst time in
Cologne in 1575 (Figure3).34 The narrative elements are extremely scarce, but the
text in the cartouche clearly explains that the map evokes the siege of the town
by the Spanish, followed by the liberation thanks to the provisioning of food by
William of Orange in 1574.35
Web 2.0 increasingly ofers the opportunity to exploit the narrative potential of
maps and produce map-based stories, since map-making has become a continuous
digital process and maps are never nished.36 Virtual environments and map spaces
and new ideas about map design help to transform static, analogue maps into
interactive storytelling tools.37 The emergence of new technologies has increasingly
enabled map-makers to produce motion maps, i.e. digital maps that also present
movement, change, and stories, such as migration and tra c ows, processes of
state formation, recommended routings, road trips, background decors for video
games and lm scenes, to mention a few uses.38 These applications are becoming
more common and user-friendly. At the same time, the shift to digital map forms
has triggered the debate on cartographic interaction, i.e. the dialogue between
humans and maps through computing devices.
Instead of using static maps,
people all over the world are not only able to see maps as a process on the screen,
but are also able to make their own dynamic motion maps and map the stories
of their daily lives. In short, nowadays, maps increasingly (re)present motion and
are in motion themselves.
Story and motion maps through the ages
Somewhat surprisingly, the booming and revolutionary eld of digital map ap-
plications that entails both technological innovations, such as augmented reality
and philosophical reections like deep mapping, does not really inuence map
historians, who seemingly remain focused on the analogue manuscript and
printed maps and atlases they used to study. They tend to devote attention to the
34 De Vries, Historische plattegronden, p.82; Van der Krogt, Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici, vol. IV-2,
p.1077. A loose copy of the second st ate of the map is kept in Amsterdam, A llard Pierson, OTM: H B-KZL
35 S ee the origi nal Latin t ext: opp. ab Hi spanis obsi dione cinct um, ab Auri acis autem co meatus in vectione
libera tum Anno par te salutis M DL XX IIII.
36 Caqua rd and Cartwrig ht, ‘Narrat ive Cartography’, pp.104-105.
37 Mocnik and Fairbairn, ‘Maps Telling Stories’.
38 For a recent cri tical asse ssment of six applicat ions for mapping na rratives on t he internet, see C aquard
and Dim itrovas, ‘Story Maps & Co’.
39 Roth, ‘Interactive Maps’.
JÖRN SEEMANN, ZEF SEGAL, AND BRAM VANNIEUWENHUYZE
descriptive analysis, the production process, the accuracy, the multiple uses, and
the power of maps instead of interpreting their multifaceted content. Map librarians
and archivists, for their part, are putting incredible eforts into unlocking their
collections online, for instance through web viewers and georeferencing tools,
but within these applications the maps themselves often remain or, equally, are
presented as static products. And although in recent decades scholars have devoted
attention to journalistic and literary cartography, Peter Vujakovic still observes
a ‘lingering “scientism” […] in which map-making is still regarded by many of its
practitioners as an objective, scientic enterprise disassociated from ideological
Too often, cartographers criticized the designers and producers of
narrative maps as ‘artists untrained in cartographic principles.’
the narrative qualities of maps remain heavily underexploited and the history of
motion mapping is extremely understudied.
The time seems right to reect upon the crucial characteristics of story and
motion maps, in order to better understand and exploit this aspect of cartography.
This book, the rst on the topic, claims that the mapping of stories, movement,
and change is not only becoming and will be an important aspect – perhaps even
the standard – of cartography in the near future, but that it also has a history that
is older than often thought. The authors of the chapters reect upon the main
characteristics and evolutions of story and motion mapping, from the gurative
news and history maps that were mass-produced in early modern Europe, through
the nineteenth- and twentieth-century ow maps that appeared in various atlases,
up to the digital and interactive motion and personalized maps that are created
today thanks to new technologies, but which are part of the long history of human
Rather than presenting a clear and homogeneous history of narrative and motion
cartography from the past till the present and the future, this book aims to ofer
map historians a toolbox for understanding and interpreting the complex interplays
and links between narrative, motion, and maps. The chapters ofer a limited range
of case studies,42 yet cover diferent types of maps and atlases produced in various
periods and regions. Each of the six chapters relates one or more specic case
studies to four main questions: Which ty pes of stories, events, ows or movements
have been mapped? What were the goals of the map-makers, commissioners, and
editors of these maps? What is the relationship between the mapped narrative and
the spatial objects and how did or do readers understand it? And, nally, which
40 Vujakov ic, ‘Cartog raphy and the News’, p.464.
41 Monmonier, Maps with t he News, p.14.
42 As a result, some periods and specic types of story and motion maps – e.g. literary maps and
journalistic cartography – remain underexposed. With regard to the latter, see Schulten, ‘Journalistic
Cartography ’, Monmonier, Maps with the Ne ws, and, very recently, Reyes Novaes, Map s in Newspaper s.
tools, techniques, and opportunities do twenty-rst-century scholars have at their
disposal for exploiting the narrative potential of these maps? The contributions
have been written by both younger map historians and senior scholars and mirror
actual research in the elds of cartography and map history. The book is largely
structured in chronological order, starting with those case studies focussing on
early modern maps and ending with those re ecting on present-day, internet-based
digital maps and applications. All chapters are illustrated with a relevant sample
of images that are necessary to understand and clarify the arguments.
In the rst chapter, Djoeke van Netten ofers a close reading of Joan Blaeu’s
Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula, a wall map that depicts the world in the mid-
seventeenth century. Her study entails the analysis of contents, illustrative elements,
and accompanying texts in Latin and French that create a compelling narrative of a
new world order, dominated by a political discourse against Spain and a worldview
that emphasizes the importance of the Dutch in the global scenario. By tracing some
of the apparent and concealed narrative(s) of the wall map, Van Netten suggests
that map-reading itself was a form of mobility.
The second contribution, written by Bram Vannieuwenhuyze, ofers a close
‘reading’ of two large-scale story maps from the early seventeenth-century Low
Countries, a bird’s-eye perspective on the Ypres’ siege of 1383, and a map of Northern
Flanders by Mathias Quad. Based on a discussion of the mapping process and
consumption of both documents, Vannieuwenhuyze sheds light on the motives that
incited early modern map-makers and commercial editors to include narratives
and depict chains of events. By considering them as ‘entangled products’ instead
of simple by-products of ocial cartography, he argues that the maps themselves
were also part of a chain of objects, and that their production and consumption
must be considered in broader contexts.
In the third contribution, Zef Segal sheds light on the emergence of ow maps
in Western cartography. Based on widely known ow maps and a survey of more
than 400 commercial atlases in the collection of the Library of Congress that were
produced between 1800 and 1940, he argues that ow maps were initially used to
depict movement cartographically, but then changed into a tool for colonialism and
nationalism by visualizing political expansion, commercial connections, and racial
concepts, which is most evident in the maps of European imperialist projects and
Nazi propaganda. The history of ow maps in this study is more than a technical
history of depicting movement; it reveals changing meanings of ‘movement’ and
‘mobility’ in Western societies.
The depiction of movement and time-space relations is also at the core in the
fourth chapter by Radu Leca, who o fers a longue durée account of Japanese historical
maps and discusses the distinct ‘heterochronies’ in Japanese cartographic history.
He examines in particular how time is perceived and represented in historical maps
JÖRN SEEMANN, ZEF SEGAL, AND BRAM VANNIEUWENHUYZE
of Japan in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Leca shows that
the dynamics of history were reected in various ways by changing colours and
shapes while retaining a certain static image of an unchanging Japanese territory.
The fth contribution, written by Ferjan Ormeling, approaches the regular
re-editions and updates of the Bosatlas, the most important Dutch school atlas
created in 1877 by the teacher Pieter Roelfs Bos, as a serial work that is currently
in its 55th edition. Thanks to a recent digital project, copies of the rst thirty-six
editions are available online and allow the user to compare diferent versions of
maps and their changes through the times with a single mouse-click. Ormeling
argues that this ‘history machine’ turns a static school atlas into a visual tool
to detect and understand changes both in map design and in the physical and
cultural con guration of specic places throughout time. Ormeling o fers a twenty-
rst-century digital perception of ‘map-reading as mobility,’ which complements
VanNetten’s seventeenth-century analogue perception of the same concept.
In Chapter6, Jörn Seemann points out the potential of social media as a source
for historical cartography and map-making to create historical documents that
reect local memories and opinions. He engages with the comments of a Facebook
group with more than 20,000 followers, who discuss the past of Muncie, a rust-
belt town in the American Midwest. Leaning on the idea of deep mapping in the
Humanities, Seemann reects on the possibilities and challenges of visualizing
these ‘big qualitative data’ in the form of story maps.
Mark Monmonier’s short re ective essay at the end of the book presents a t ypo-
logy of narrative and motion maps and places the various case studies discussed in
the chapters within this framework. He concludes by presenting some directions
for future research on the topic. The editors hope that, together with Monmoniers
incentives, the entire book and its individual chapters will spark a more continued
dialogue on the historical relationship between narratives, motion, and map-making
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About the Authors
Jörn Seeman n teaches Cartography and Cultural Geography at Ball State University,
United States. He is particularly interested in the relations between maps and
society, with an emphasis on cartographic theories, methodologies and histories,
creative approaches to mapping, and cultural ways of perceiving and representing
space and place.
Zef Segal is a lecturer of history, mathematics, and digital humanities at the Open
University of Israel. His research has focused on movement, communication,
and cartography in nineteenth-century Europe, as well as the implementation of
computational research tools in the study of history. His current research project
is the network of Hebrew journals in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Segal’s latest book, The Political Fragmentation of Germany (2019), explores the spatial
processes that construct national and territorial identities, within the context of
nineteenth-century German states.
Bram Vannieuwenhuyze studied history at Ghent University, where he obtained
his PhD in 2008. His research focuses on historical cartography, town development,
and urban morphology of medieval and early modern towns and landscape history.
In 2015, he was named professor by special appointment of Historical Cartography
at the University of Amsterdam, a chair established on behalf of the Cartographiae
Historicae Cathedra Foundation. He also works as an independent scholar for