World Map
World Map

Maps are Metaphors

Where would we be without maps? Especially when we’re on a dusty road and have never been here before. We either are on our way to a set destination, or we seek to experience new things in a land that we are unfamiliar with. Maps can define our surroundings, define who is in charge of the land, explain how to get from point a to point b, or simply convey what we can do or not do.

I am of an age that my early classrooms had rolled up maps hanging above the chalk boards. We also would carry paper maps in the dashboard of our cars. Maps served a metaphorical function of defining our world for political purposes and navigation. We used maps to represent the real world, and maps limited what we could imagine and describe. You could buy books of maps for your car. I had a thin but large book of low detail driving maps of the whole country. I carried a Thomas Bros., map book in my car. It was for Los Angeles and Orange County. …


Steven Gibson

Writer, organizer, political activist.

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