An Interactive Annotated World Bibliography of Printed and Digital Works in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences from Circa 2000 BCE to 2022 by Fielding H. Garrison (1870-1935), Leslie T. Morton (1907-2004), and Jeremy M. Norman (1945- ) Traditionally Known as “Garrison-Morton”

15970 entries, 13964 authors and 1940 subjects. Updated: June 13, 2024

FELS, John David

1 entries
  • 10528

The natures of maps: Cartographic constructions of the natural world.

Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2009.

"...Wood and Fels begin by observing that while almost everyone now admits that maps showing such things as zoning lines or national boundaries are ideological constructions, they view any map as inherently ideological: “The map is not a picture. It is an argument” (p. xvi). These arguments are made using systems of signs, and the most central semiological function of the map is what Wood and Fels call a “posting.” This is Charles Pierce’s index, a direct pointing to, the statement that “this piece of the world (represented by a symbol) is here (represented by the symbol’s location on the sign plane of the map).” The map, then, is a whole series of arguments, that “this is here,” and “this other thing is here,” and “that is there.” Their second major point is that our long experience with maps that validate these manifold propositions “endows the map with an intrinsic factuality whose social manifestation is the authority the map carries into public action” (p. xvi).

"In terms of methodology, Wood and Fels rely, first, on extremely thorough and systematic “unpacking” of the map, the kind of analysis they famously directed at a North Carolina state highway map in The Power of Maps. And to assist in this process, they’ve adapted some terms from literary analysis that allow them to talk about a map’s context. They speak of the parimap as the verbal and physical expressions that surround and embody the map, everything from titles and legends to paper stock and typography. They also recognize an epimap, constituting information not physically a part of the map, but circulating freely around it. Elements of an epimap would include advertising, commentary, and packaging, like the issue of National Geographic that holds a given map. Together, parimap and epimap constitute the paramap, “everything that surrounds and extends a map in order to present it.” " (

Subjects: Cartography, Medical & Biological, Cartography, Medical & Biological › History of Medical Cartography