AN ANALYSIS OF STYLISTIC DIVERSITY IN EUROPEAN STATE 1:50 000 TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS

A.J. Kent

Christ Church University, Dept. of Geographical and Life Sciences, Canterbury, UK

alexanderjameskent@yahoo.co.uk

 

Do current European topographic maps exhibit supranational styles of cartography? Furthermore, if successful cartographic symbolisation involves preserving something of the character of a geographic feature, do successful topographic maps express a national character through their symbolization of landscape? And how might this character be communicated through graphic variables, a wider vocabulary of symbols, or by using a higher proportion of the symbology to represent certain features? This presentation will explore the relationship between the design of topographic maps and cartographic style. It discusses the role of aesthetics in the symbolization of landscape and focuses on an analysis of the stylistic similarities and differences within a sample of official 1:50 000 topographic maps produced by the national mapping organizations of 20 European countries. After a discussion of the resulting styles and the possible factors that might influence a national mapping organization in their expression of landscape, some avenues for further research will be proposed.