Heiner Benking, Berlin heiner@benking.de http://www.in-betweener.org/flatworlds/maps/ please visit also: www.deepworlds.org/

Recommendations for

1) "making and using" WORLD MAPs in education, business, research/sciences, public, governance/policy,...

2) taking earth-literacy for real. Thinking about the scales, times and cultures involved and how we can immerse into, share, connect, communicate the issues and contexts involved.

as part of:

"Time for Renewal" -

Time to fight Map-"Analphabetism"

High Time to re-visit our World-Views, World-Maps, World-Models & Earth Literacy
- and how we map, model, and communicate -

Whoever imagines mental barriers which actually do not exist and then thinks them away, has understood the world. As space is entrapped in geometry's network of lines, thought is caught in its (own) inherent laws. Maps make the world comprehensible to us; we are still waiting for the star-maps of the spirit In the same way that ambling through fields we risk getting lost, the spirit negotiates its terrain.

Friedrich Rückert, Wisdom of Brahmins


After writing the recommendations for the original Nov.16th text a lot of messages and other recommendations have been received.

To remember, these were: 1. Use many world-maps and find fair compromise versions. , 2. Teach in schools that maps are supersigns see Dennis Wood in the references, which contain images, and symbols, sign- schemas and legends, metaphors and analogies, which include a frame of reference and can contain and link and allow exploration and negotiation of their content or "story". 3. Revisit old antagonized and hardened "fronts" between schools or "isms" which "explain " other schools of thought away in order to be "right" and make the others wrong. Just like opposing blocks during the Cold War, opposing scientific schools each assume for themselves the exclusive status to know the truth andhave the credibility to neutrally explain how things are. One such questionable example can be found here. Explains these are the extremes and odds and here is the right thing "in the middle". It confuses projections and might have left many pupils alone in their quest. 4. Make sure that international research and programmes use maps which are appropriate for their purpose. 5. Avoid oversimplifications like teaching children that mapmakers were tricksters who just fill the empty spaces to make a world-map (see the "Schlaufuchs" worldmap and its "explanation to kids). 6. Make people more aware that maps are man-made "realities" which form the world view and awareness, make us feel where we are and help us connect to other levels, regions, sections, times, cultures. 7. Understand the dilemma - or better tri- or polylemma - that if the people in powere, in science, in industry and business have an outdated map in their minds, this map will be also in the schoolbooks, so their is little chance to change if not all "stakeholders" in a concerted action make an effort to review the maps and models they use. 8. Make better use of maps and models to communicate complex matters or issues in other sectors or aon other levels which are not easily accessed, touched, or come to grips with. see General Model Model Theory first intorduced to UNESCO in 1972 (Herbert Stachowiak). 9. Learn from UNESCO's experience in harmonization, like with the Braille Alphabet for the blind, to come to maps which can be acceptable and useful to all people on the planet, wherever they are.

PLEASE SEE ALSO THE RECOMMENDATIONS I received after doing this document: called: Towards better world maps in textbooks by David. R. Wright published in International Schulbuchforschung 27/3, 2005. They primarily address the world of text books and are DRAFT recommendations very well done to build up from there the discussion of future maps for not just schools. The dilemma and need to adress also the public, policy, scientific, and business at the same time to make the needed change is addressed under 7 below. The discussion of equal-area maps in a rectangle format is not really yet started. See for example formats like in Fig. 17.

After receiving that I received a copy from this Journal: International Schulbuchforschung, pp. 355-358, 27/3, 2005, David R. Wright calles it : "Towards better world maps in textbooks" - it was published in 2005 to tackle the issue of WORLD MAPS for schools or in education. As the recommendation did go much beyond the recommendations of professional and cartographic organisations and clearly laid empahsis on "EQUAL-AREA" maps, I was excited to get them in electronic form, they are now available on-line and I am happy to learn that INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH NETWORK ON EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES http://www.irner.org A new virtual discussion and exchange platform for scholars and educators in cooperation with UNESCO established in 1992 as the International Textbook Research Network. pls. see the headline below and follow the links with losts of explanation, reasons, fascts and figurres. See http://www.dandjwright.co.uk goto the section world-maps.

RECOMMENDATIONS by David R. Wright as published in: International Schulbuchforschung, pp. 355-358, 27/3, 2005

1. WORLD MAPS SHOULD NORMALLY BE EQUAL-AREA. 2. THE EQUATOR SHOULD BE SHOWN AND BE NAMED, and normally should run across the centre of the map. 3. THE OTHER FOUR NAMED LINES OF LATITUDE SHOULD ALSO BE SHOWN with name and/or number. Additional lines of latitude are appropriate on the largest world maps. 4. LINES OF LONGITUDE SHOULD BE SHOWN: in most cases these should be at 30° intervals, 5. THERE SHOULD BE NO SCALE SHOWN, 6. THE CENTRAL UNE OF LONGITUDE SHOULD BE CHOSEN LOCALLY, 7. THE CHOICE OF EQUAL-AREA WORLD MAP SHOULD BE SPECIFIED AND NAMED; care should be taken in choosing a suitable map, 8. AN INTERRUPTED EQUAL-AREA WORLD MAP IS AN APPROPRIATE CHOICE WHEN GOOD SHAPES OF ALL LAND AREAS ARE NEEDED - i.e. when land-shapes are more important than keeping oceans 'intact', 9. 'DARKER MEANS MORE; LIGHTER MEANS LESS' IS A KEY PRINCIPLE.

I had before only read the guides and books for pupils and teachers at diversophy.com and so I was happy to see that some European and professional organisation, was picking up on this matter as well.

But the recommendations, very professional, left out how an "equal area" rectangular grid world-map would look like, and the status seemed to be like the controversial recommendations below, where some American geogographic societies propose and other cartographic societies refuse to endorse. Here for the record:

Seven North American geographic organizations in 1989 adopted the following resolution that rejected all rectangular world maps, which include both the Mercator and the Gall-Peters projections: Seven North American geographic organizations in 1989 adopted the following resolution that rejected all rectangular world maps, which include both the Mercator and the Gall-Peters projections: "WHEREAS, the earth is round with a coordinate system composed entirely of circles, and WHEREAS, flat world maps are more useful than globe maps, but flattening the globe surface necessarily greatly changes the appearance of Earth's features and coordinate systems, and WHEREAS, world maps have a powerful and lasting effect on peoples' impressions of the shapes and sizes of lands and seas, their arrangement, and the nature of the coordinate system, and WHEREAS, frequently seeing a greatly distorted map tends to make it "look right,"
THEREFORE, we strongly urge book and map publishers, the media and government agencies to cease using rectangular world maps for general purposes or artistic displays. Such maps promote serious, erroneous conceptions by severely distorting large sections of the world, by showing the round Earth as having straight edges and sharp corners, by representing most distances and direct routes incorrectly, and by portraying the circular coordinate system as a squared grid. The most widely displayed rectangular world map is the Mercator (in fact a navigational diagram devised for nautical charts), but other rectangular world maps proposed as replacements for the Mercator also display a greatly distorted image of the spherical Earth."

It should be noted that there are other opinions within geography and cartography about the Peters World Map (its alternative name in some of the literature). First, some map societies, notably the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) declined to endorse the 1989 resolution. Second, there are a small number of cartographers, including Brian Harley, who have written positively about it. Within geography more generally, some commentators see the cartographic controversy over the Peters world map as a sign of immaturity in the cartographic profession regarding the fact that all maps are political".

This "state of the art" or "state of the dispute" seems to be still on that level, of not tabeling the issues and showing which good is good in which frame for which pupose, and where the limiations lie -and which maps in parallel might give a beter and more "fair" view given the distortion made obvious and known.

So for example the Gall-Peters is extremely stretched in the arctic zones, see this for example in comparison to these maps:

Maybe we should start with a set of "credible" and useful maps, maps which might be more appropriate if compared to the maps used by professional arctic or climate researchers - which have their object under study, like Greenland extremely different in their books and reports. See Figures: ***** ****

We see hat maps like the "Peters" are sold with many other projections shown at the same time in order to avoid the one and only "correct" map of the world. Peters had therefore in his Atlas - which is EQUAL AREA for all regions of the world, to include extra sections for the actic zones,

TO BE CONTINUED.... with examples

2) taking earth-literacy for real. Thinking about the scales, times and cultures involved and how we can immerse into, share, connect, communicate the issues and contexts involved.

The moment we can negotiate maps to find our orientation, we can go into models, and inlude so much more extensional co-ordinates. The issues of EARTH  LITERACY is taken up here. But we should remember that recommendations are needed to help not only leaders - but everybody to negotiate complexity without "feeling" lost or dumbed down.

Ecoliteracy and Earth Literacy are definitely important issues. Interesting meetings have been held at Rio+10 in Johannesburg, or already 1990 in France, see Talloires Declaration, and a UNESCO report from 2002 or the IAU reports on this, or - highly recommended Educating Earth-Literaste Leaders _PDF (Jucker/Martin 2003), but shoudn't we make such terms more real and concrete to we can negotiate and see from different angles? It is okey to seperate deep-ecology meaning to look for the inner side, but arent there so many other sides and views as well, and can the old seperationn of "inner versus outer outer" help us? even when we seperate micro from macro we still need to say if this applies to a certain individual, or a group or culture. pls also visit the Future of Higher Education with some references to what is meant here, or the Grand Environmental Challenges collected by the US National Academies, NRC; NAS in Washington to make a differenced.

Helmuth Plessner with his "excentric positionality" was working on such differentiations in the 1920ies. (more).

TO BE CONTINUED.... with examples

Epilog: I can only recommend to visit Global-Change list which shows work and research which started around geo-eco-dynamics in the mid 80ies and was expanded into the field of culture navigation, harmonisation and terminology research and ends in what we call a cognitive panorama. and finally has to be seen as a global, integral and concrete framework or scaffolding, something we have tentatively called in 2003 at an EARTH CHARTA open-space a GLOBAL COVENANT - and come back to see where we are with 9-d.org, deepworlds, and quergeist.net

Heiner Benking