Z. Koziel

Nicolaus Copernicus University Institute of Geography, Poland


Any visual composition, not only a work of art, should be an amalgam of purposefully collected and properly ordered elements, the same is true of geographical visual compositions, or geocompositions, such as maps, plans, orthophotomaps, or geoimages, which are very often described with the very general term model. In the context of ever more numerous examples of highly abstract computerized cartography models and complex geographical multimedia representations, which specialists refer to as map-like representations or hiperrepresentations or hipermaps, geocomposition seems to be the most general term, representing a wide range of methods of data transmission, particularly as videographic representations.

Geocomposition, a term which so far has not been used in literature, is a compound noun consisting of the root composition, which has a place in cartography, and the prefix geo, which is added to differentiate it from the work of a composer of music. Geocomposition is a broad term and thus can be identified with visual, sound or text compositions relating to the surface of the Earth and the entire geosphere.

Although the multiplicity of means used in the preparation of modern multimedia data transfer (including maps) helps their holistic reception (not only through vision), it is difficult to ignore examples which stray too much from the generally accepted patterns and principles. This problem needs to be tackled, because the variety and character of modern cartographic work depends more and more on the computer and less and less on the knowledge and the professional training of their creator. Also, it is not out of place to draw attention to the changing attitude to the editing of multimedia content, arising from the growing sophistication of computers, which are common tools. Such changes involve, for instance, the addition of sound effects to their visual features. The results of such actions, whose purpose is to enhance aesthetic impressions and inspire viewers, have various names in the literature: hyperrepresentations, information media, hypermaps, map-like graphic representations etc.

That is also why, among other reasons, geocomposition is suggested here as the right name, and is understood as: any technical-aesthetic composition of purposefully chosen and properly ordered graphic elements of image, sound and text, their types and methods of presentation, as variables of individual elements or elements in various configurations, which sometimes have a function of interactive modification of content, and which carry information about objects, social or natural processes or phenomena taking place in the geosphere.