Thursday, May 29, 2008

A New Map of the World

I like to use the above “New Map of the World” (circa 1660), by the Dutch cartographer de Wit, to illustrate progress in knowledge (with particular reference to the Pacific Northwest).

I am in Anchorage, Alaska, today (which is not on the old new map of the world above), and I just pulled up a Google map that includes an image of the place where I am staying.

One recalls Borges’s “On Exactitude in Science,” in which the only suitable map is one of scale equal to the Empire.