Cartography  

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The Map of Tendre (Carte du Tendre) is a French map of an imaginary country called Tendre produced by several hands (including Catherine de Rambouillet). It appeared as an engraving (attributed to François Chauveau) in the first part of Madeleine de Scudéry's 1654-61 novel Clélie. It shows a geography entirely based around the theme of love according to the Précieuses of that era: the river of Inclination flows past the villages of "Billet Doux" (Love Letter), "Petits Soins" (Little Trinkets) and so forth.
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The Map of Tendre (Carte du Tendre) is a French map of an imaginary country called Tendre produced by several hands (including Catherine de Rambouillet). It appeared as an engraving (attributed to François Chauveau) in the first part of Madeleine de Scudéry's 1654-61 novel Clélie. It shows a geography entirely based around the theme of love according to the Précieuses of that era: the river of Inclination flows past the villages of "Billet Doux" (Love Letter), "Petits Soins" (Little Trinkets) and so forth.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Terra incognita

Cartography or mapmaking (in Greek chartis = map and graphein = write) is the study and practice of making representations of the Earth on a flat surface. Cartography combines science, aesthetics, and technical ability to create a balanced and readable representation that is capable of communicating information effectively and quickly.

One problem in creating maps is the simple reality that the surface of the Earth, a curved surface in three-dimensional space, must be represented in two dimensions as a flat surface. This necessarily entails some degree of distortion, which can be dealt with by utilizing projections that minimize distortion in certain areas. Furthermore, the Earth is not a regular sphere, but its shape is instead known as a geoid, which is a highly irregular but exactly knowable and calculable shape.

Maps of all scales have traditionally been drawn and made by hand, but the recent advent and spread of computers has revolutionized cartography. Most commercial-quality maps are now made with software that falls into one of three main types: CAD, GIS, and specialized illustration software.

Functioning as tools, maps communicate spatial information by making it visible. Spatial information is acquired from measurement of space and can be stored in a database, from which it can be extracted for a variety of purposes. Current trends in this field are moving away from analog methods of mapmaking and toward the creation of increasingly dynamic, interactive maps that can be manipulated digitally.

Cartographic representation involves the use of symbols and lines to illustrate geographic phenomena. This can aid in visualizing space in an abstract and portable format. The cartographic process rests on the premise that the world is measurable and that we can make reliable representations or models of that reality.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Cartography" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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