This blog is a research platform organizing projects, examples, and thoughts surrounding the idea of an urban mapping which reads the city as a network of individual activities and relationships in time rather than as a static form. This research looks at the city both from within and from above as kind of urban cat-scan. 

Friday, October 03, 2008

A trajectory is a story... is a Map

"The simplest form of a geographical map is not the one that seems most natural to us today, or namely a map representing the surface of the ground as seen by an extraterrestrial gaze.
The first need to put places on a map is connected with travel: it is the reminder of the succession of the stages, the tracing of a route.
Following a path from the beginning to the end gives a special kind of satisfaction, both in life and in literature (the journey as narrative structure), so one may well wonder why the theme of the journey has not met with the same success, and not only appears sporadically, in the figurative arts.
The need to comprehend in one image both the dimension of time and that of space lies at the origin of cartography. Time as a story of the past... and time in the future: as the presence of obstacles that are encountered on the journey, and here the weather (tempo atmosferico) is joined with chronological time (tempo cronologico).
The geographical map, in short, although static, implies a narrative idea, it is conceived in keeping with an itinerary, it is an Odyssey."

Italo Calvino. Il viadante nella mappa, in Collezione di sabbia, Palomar/Mondadori, Milan 1984