Persuasive Cartography: The PJ Mode Collection

Contrary to popular belief, maps do not offer a neutral, objective view of the world but reflect the sociocultural perspectives, personal political opinions, religious beliefs, and underlying commercial objectives of the people who create them.  In cooperation with Cornell University, map specialist PJ Mode has assembled a fascinating collection of more than 800 examples of persuasive cartography. Visitors to this historical e-collection will be surprised and quite likely shocked by the power of cartography to affect public opinion. Browse the collection or learn more here.

“Every map has a Who, What, Where and When about it. But these maps had another element: Why? Since they were primarily “about” something other than geography, understanding the map required finding the reasoning behind it. Each time I acquired one of these maps, I tried to solve that puzzle. As the internet developed, it became easier to come across these “curiosities” – and easier to research their raison d’etre.”

-PJ Mode