Dartmouth Events

Mark Monmonier, "Persuasive Cartography"

Using Maps to Influence Opinion and Control Behavior. Monmonier is Distinguished Professor of Geography at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Monday, August 5, 2013
Loew Auditorium, Black Family Visual Arts Center
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Academic Calendar, Arts, Lectures & Seminars

Persuasive cartography: using maps to influence opinion and control behavior


All published maps are at least minimally rhetorical, but some are more actively

persuasive than others. This talk explores two particularly assertive modes of

persuasive cartography: political rhetoric and government regulation. Maps

intended to leverage opinion for or against a particular proposal, deed, product,

or political viewpoint can draw on a range of strategies that include falsification,

exaggeration, satire, appeal for sympathy, and emblematic iconography. Though

visually provocative, these maps are perhaps more effective in reinforcing

existing viewpoints than in changing minds. By contrast, maps intended to

tell us where not to go or what not to do typically rely upon visually mundane

boundaries or classifications, which the map author assumes will be obeyed.

The increased prominence of prohibitive cartography in the twentieth century

reflects the map’s effectiveness in advertising restrictions as well as increased

government regulation. Advances in geospatial technology suggest a more

assertively Orwellian future for prohibitive cartography.

For more information, contact:
Danielle Taylor

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.