Monday, 4 January 2010

Space - Mapping of


Space has several concepts and each has a slightly different meaning. Even in every day language a space is no a space, but maybe a space. A room might be a space, but also a square might be a space. Probably everything in between is also a space.
In terms of geography the division of space as in measuring it, is very important. This is especially important for the transformation of space (reality) in to a map (abstraction). For this, if you want, Greenwich the home of the Zero Meridian, is basically the beginning of space. Although geographers are not quite sure about the right projection, they make us believe our world looks something like this,

mapprojection_mercator1569.LaDqEkJUeqyd.jpg
Image taken from Wikipeda - A Mercator Projection date from 1569, but still in use in most class rooms in schools.

Like this,

mapprojection_robinson.gHy95FwiqRdR.jpg
Image taken from Map Library, the University of Wisconsin - The Robinson Projection

or this,

mapprojection_zimuthalEquidistant.113h6GE7mSTj.jpg
Image by Philip Lin - An azimuthal equidistant world map projection with Victoria, BC at the centre

You never know, it might look like this

mapprojection_dymaxion.eLSWxyFlEkMQ.jpg
Image taken from markmaunder - Dymaxion Map by Buckminster Fuller

There are literally hundreds of different map projection to map the world (sphere) onto a flat surface (paper). Some show accurate shape (Mercator Projection), others show accurate size (Peters Map)
Anyway, the production of space in this sense is mainly based on a mathematical description of Euclidian space (there are some implications with the involvement of spheres as in the earth, but for now we will neglect this). It is all about the problem of representing the globe on flat plane. And this is really impossible without cracking the object. Some attribute will always be distorted or misrepresented, while other might be preserved more accurate.
The mathematical description of space has entered everyday life understanding of space. Generally speaking the concept of space is the idea of a box where we can put things, objects, people, activities and arrange them to fit. Since most rooms in buildings are rectangles the transformation of early years geometry lessons onto everyday object
Lately the New Scientist has featured a new technique to map our planet earth. The Dutch scientist Jack van Wijk has developed a new technique called "Myriahedral projection" to flattened the globe more accurately using different sets of algorithms to split up the glob into tiny little triangles that can then be cracked open. It really looks similar to the Dymaxion map from above, but for images and review see also article on BLDNGBLOG.

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