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Themesicon: navigation pathMapping and Texticon: navigation pathArchive/Map

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Topoi,» [30] following the «Encyclopedia Cinematographica» project, no longer means analysing images in terms of art history and semantics, but a surprising, unexpected algorithmic image analysis. Understanding images as data that can be ‹read› by the computer ultimately also means not just addressing images through a computer, but the individual «picture elements,» known as «pixels.» This analysis rejects semantics in favour of a media archaeology or a «technoimage archaeology that uses mathematical, intelligent machine-related agents to analyse and map images and thus create a visual grammar. One way or another, the images are registered and identified, or one might almost say, handled as if by an intelligence service. Thus mapping a process of this kind is linked with the literally archaeological concept of data-mining or displaying data.

Mapping as data display

Before we move on to the current practice of data display and mapping, it is worth recalling three historical references to the paradigm of the map as a reference to geography. Tufte cites copying maps as


an example: «A 1622 map depicting California as an island was reproduced in 182 variants, as the distinctive mistake traces out a disturbingly long history of rampant plagiary. The last copyist published in 1745, after which California cartographically rejoined the mainland.» [31] In this case the practice of copying is the media-historical condition, including variants, and thus mistakes as well. So a map is never more than an approximate model. If texts generate other texts, this applies equally to maps and images.

The next two examples also crucially changed our understanding of maps as geographical references: first, Charles Joseph Minard's map of troop movements throughout the Napoleonic campaign, which translated time data into spatial parameters; the second is the map of a London district made by John Snow in 1855 to record the incidence of cholera there. This made it possible to use the spatial distribution to conclude that the local cause was one pump in one street, even though the predominant view at the time was that the epidemic was transmitted by air. Closing the well down contained the epidemic, thus proving the opposite. So these maps were not so much about the geography of

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