Latitude: Persuasive Cartography

October 3, 2019–February 21, 2020
Hirshland Exhibition Gallery
Level 2B, Carl A. Kroch Library

Latitude: Persuasive Cartography features highlights from the PJ Mode Collection of Persuasive Cartography—maps intended primarily to influence opinions and beliefs, rather than to communicate geographical information. These “persuasive” maps are focused on shaping decisions and desired outcomes. They employ a variety of tools and strategies—unusual projections and coloring, selective inclusion, imaginative illustration, allegory, satire, and even intentional deception—to advance a particular cause or point of view. Spanning from the 18th century to the present, many of the maps on display illuminate historical perspectives on topics that still resonate today, such as immigration policy and political gerrymandering. Others seek to foster social change, promote products and places, or send warnings about imagined futures. From the past to the present, Latitude helps us understand how ideas and opinions are shaped by data visualization techniques.

Keppler, Joseph Ferdinand. “Next!” 1904. This cartoon map was published eight weeks before the presidential election of 1904. It depicts Standard Oil as a great octopus spread out across the U.S., having strangled state capitals and the Congress in Washington, reaching out to seize the White House next.

View the online exhibition