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Mapping the Eternal Ocean

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Spirit of Aloha has a short story on the mapping of the Pacific Ocean that provides an interesting contrast between European / Western approaches to mapping and Pacific Islanders’ approaches. From the article: “Islanders’ maps were, with rare exceptions, ephemeral, typically shells or stones set upon the ground. They generally quantified distance by travel time, relating the number of days’ sailing around and between islands. Islanders’ knowledge of the heavens was of little value to European navigational techniques, and the Europeans’ knowledge of map making was of no use to the islanders until they adopted Western navigational equipment and theory.”

1 Responses to “Mapping the Eternal Ocean”

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