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Title: Maps as Knowledge Aggregators: from Renaissance Italy Fra Mauro to Web Search Engines
Authors: Nanetti, Andrea
Cattaneo, Angelo
Cheong, Siew Ann
Lin, Chin-Yew
Keywords: World Maps
Knowledge Aggregators
Web Search Engines
Issue Date: 2015
Source: Nanetti, A., Cattaneo, A., Cheong, S. A. & Lin, C. (2015). Maps as Knowledge Aggregators: from Renaissance Italy Fra Mauro to Web Search Engines. C, 52(2), 159-167.
Series/Report no.: The Cartographic Journal
Abstract: Mediaeval and Renaissance maps of the world were and worked as knowledge aggregators. The cosmographers identified, selected and re-edited information about hundreds of places from a variety of literary, iconographic and oral sources, and synoptically re-organized them in place names, cartouches, and drawings to be put on a map. This selection/aggregation process transformed the mappa mundi into a visual encyclopaedia (i.e. an all-around learning and thinking tool), where each geographical entry was able to generate narratives as a data gateway and an information hub for customs, commodities, and rulers of different peoples of the world. If we infer that the Renaissance people asked to the cosmographers to learn about the world as we go to search engines to find what we want, the reverse engineering of these works (as exemplified in this paper for the mid-fifteenth-century world map by Fra Mauro Camaldolese) can help to draw the connection between the traditional way to aggregate knowledge as a product (e.g. Fra Mauro’s mappa mundi) and the modern way of using search engines and related internet services (i.e. their map services) to serve a similar purpose but in a better and more dynamic manner, placing crucial question, such as: How the same networks/people can bring new wealth and development, or war and poverty? Which are the dynamics of sustainability in international mechanisms?
ISSN: 0008-7041
DOI: 10.1080/00087041.2015.1119472
Schools: School of Art, Design and Media 
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences 
Rights: © 2015 The British Cartographic Society. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by The Cartographic Journal, The British Cartographic Society. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [].
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:ADM Journal Articles
SPMS Journal Articles

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