Pics Or It Didn’t Happen – Part III || Mapping Africa and Asia

Digitizing Maps: Availability vs. Authenticity? by Claudia Berger (Erfurt/Gotha) In the third and final part of our editorial, we will engage with the opportunities and challenges of the digitization of historical maps. Since we decided to publish the maps of Africa and Asia of the Perthes Collection online, this short article ends with our reasoning of their benefits, and how the presentation of the digitized material and the outline of the project contribute to them. The digitization of collections is a global trend. It … Continue reading "Pics Or It Didn’t Happen – Part III"

Pics or It Didn’t Happen! – Part II || Mapping Africa and Asia

About the Perthes Collection, Its History and Artefacts by Claudia Berger (Erfurt/Gotha) While last week we pondered about the implications of research on maps, their unique value and specific histories, this week’s entry will concentrate on the archive, at which our project is located, specifically: The Perthes Collection. This collection is relatively unknown among historians in general but enjoys a solid reputation among a small circle of ‘mapheads’ and enthusiasts of historical cartography. It is part of the Gotha research library and located in … Continue reading "Pics or It Didn’t Happen! – Part II"

Pics or It Didn’t Happen! – Part I || Mapping Africa and Asia

Why digitize historic maps of Africa and Asia? “Pics or it didn’t happen!” has become a proverb of internet culture in cases when someone demands visual—specifically, photographic—proof of seemingly unrealistic claims. Even in the face of innovations like “deep fakes,” visual images still have the power to convince. It might even be said that when it comes to maps, which, although constructed and designed, still enjoy a reputation of being grounded and legitimated through scientific data and processes. This scientific reputation was created over … Continue reading "Pics or It Didn’t Happen! – Part I"

Pics or It Didn’t Happen! – Part I || Mapping Africa and Asia

Why digitize historical maps of Africa and Asia? by Claudia Berger (Erfurt/Gotha) “Pics or it didn’t happen!” has become a proverb of internet culture in cases when someone demands visual—specifically, photographic—proof of seemingly unrealistic claims. Even in the face of innovations like “deep fakes,” visual images still have the power to convince. It might even be said that when it comes to maps, which, although constructed and designed, still enjoy a reputation of being grounded and legitimated through scientific data and processes. This scientific … Continue reading "Pics or It Didn’t Happen! – Part I"

Mapping Africa and Asia || Mapping Africa and Asia

How were maps of Africa and Asia produced in 19th-century Europe? What knowledge contributed to their development? Which factors affected their design and structure? How did concepts of globality and territoriality inform map designs?  And what role did colonial imaginaries and fictions play in the process? Was a ‘European’ or even ‘German’ gaze inscribed into map designs? This blog tackles these questions and more by presenting extraordinary finds and findings of the project “Cartographies of Africa and Asia (1800–1945). A Project for the Digitization … Continue reading "Mapping Africa and Asia"