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Shaking up our conceptions

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Maps can shake up our conceptions of the world, particularly if they display unusual data or represent familar data in an unusual way. A simple example of this is turning the map upside down so that south is to the top. A Nepali Times article writes about a map produced by Himal Southasian that shows south Asia with south at the top. The response was, at times, hostile. “Why have you turned India upside down?!” asked one irate customer at a bookfair where the maps were being sold. Reports the article: “The bookstall attendants felt intimidated enough by the public reaction to pull the offering from the racks.” On the other hand, not all were unhappy with the map. “It was the Sri Lankans who were most pleased, happy to be heading the heap rather than trailing the edge of the Subcontinent.”

It all depends on one’s perspective . . . .

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