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Stylistic diversity in European state 1:50 000 topographic maps

Kent, Alexander J. and Vujakovic, Peter (2009) Stylistic diversity in European state 1:50 000 topographic maps The Cartographic Journal, 46, (3), pp. 179-213. (doi:10.1179/000870409X12488753453453).

Record type: Article


To what extent do European state topographic maps exhibit unique styles of cartography? This paper describes an investigation to classify and analyse stylistic diversity in the official 1 : 50 000 topographical mapping of 20 European countries. The method involves the construction of a typology of cartographic style, based upon the classification of distinct graphical legend symbols into mutually exclusive thematic categories. In order to identify stylistic similarities between national symbologies, hierarchical cluster analysis was performed to compare the relative proportions of symbols within each category. This was complemented by a qualitative analysis of various aspects of cartographic design: colour, 'white' space, visual hierarchy, and lettering. The results indicate a high degree of stylistic diversity throughout Europe, with the symbologies of Great Britain and Ireland demonstrating the strongest example of a supranational style. The typology of cartographic symbologies is shown to be an effective method for determining stylistic association among maps of differing geographical (and potentially historical) origins and it is suggested that the cartographic language paradigm should be revisited as a means for understanding why national differences persist in state cartography. A version of this paper was presented at the Twenty-third International Cartographic Conference in Moscow

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Published date: August 2009


Local EPrints ID: 69813
ISSN: 0008-7041
PURE UUID: 0129b81f-8dec-4b49-85e8-1eac8af629b9

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Date deposited: 04 Dec 2009
Last modified: 19 Jul 2017 00:05

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Author: Alexander J. Kent
Author: Peter Vujakovic

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