This book takes maps to be a demonstration of how humankind's intellectual appropriation of reality aims to offer a linguistic construction of the world, with the body of names and signs within a map forming the world of sense experience into ordered knowledge. This innovative study looks at the semiotics of cartography in terms of semantics, syntax and pragmatics, and thus illustrates how a map communicates. The empirical studies that accompany the theoretical discussion range from Renaissance maps to Euclidean cartography, bringing out the specific nature of this means of communication and its special feature of “self-referentiality”.
Emanuela Casti is Professor of Geography at the Faculty of Foreign Languages at the University of Bergamo. She has published various works on the relation between cartographical language and the processes of territorialisation within Italy and Africa. Her publications include Una geografia dell’altrove. L’atlante d’Africa di Arcangelo Ghisleri (1997).