Landmarks in a History of Spatial Mapping
DOI link for Landmarks in a History of Spatial Mapping
Landmarks in a History of Spatial Mapping book
Spatial mappings are scale drawings of urban spaces, and their development and systematic contexts remain largely unexplored. Since these mappings teach us how to read and identify spaces and their qualities according to the (theoretical) ideas of their respective authors, studies of spatial mapping are of crucial importance.
In this paper, we show the extent to which a distinct history of spatial mapping has developed through successive recourses to theoretical, methodological, and illustrative precedents. On the basis of three selected landmark studies – the Nuova Pianta di Roma (1748) by Giovanni Battista Nolli, Camillo Sitte’s influential work The Art of Building Cities (1889), and Rob Krier’s Urban Space (1975) – we will demonstrate lines of development, differences, and commonalities through detailed descriptions of the mapping methods as well as the authors’ theoretical backgrounds.
In summary, all spatial mappings share an enormous illustrative and suggestive potential. Following their authors’ intentions, spatial mapping helps develop a better understanding of not only spaces in general but also specific cities or selected situations. Crucial for this is the illustrative character, which is gaining importance as the use of mappings in teaching and research increases. Furthermore, the chronological presentation of representational methods shows that with each spatial mapping, there is a recourse to previous models and an increasing degree of reduction in the drawings. This reduction also allows for an increasing focus on spaces in the drawings. The choice of a certain graphic representation style in spatial mapping or existing precedents is no coincidence. The authors thus operate in a tradition of their own, in which they want themselves and their work to be seen.