Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
After the MapCartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

William Rankin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226339368

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226339535.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022

The Authority of Representation: A Single Map for All Countries, 1891–1939

The Authority of Representation: A Single Map for All Countries, 1891–1939

(p.23) Chapter One The Authority of Representation: A Single Map for All Countries, 1891–1939
After the Map

William Rankin

University of Chicago Press

The International Map of the World – the IMW – was a hugely ambitious project to create a uniform atlas of the world in unprecedented detail. It was first proposed in 1891 by the German geographer Albrecht Penck, and by 1913 its specifications carried the force of international treaty, with almost every country in the world agreeing to participate. It remained a going concern for nearly a century, and hundreds of map sheets were eventually published. This chapter traces the history of the IMW before World War II and shows how a scientific project became entwined with international politics and took on a dual authority, where representation was both graphical and political at once. It also discusses the involvement of organizations like the Royal Geographical Society, the American Geographical Society, and the International Commission for Air Navigation and analyzes the slippages of the project as a window in to the larger tensions of cartography, sovereignty, and “civilization.”

Keywords:   International Map of the World, Albrecht Penck, Royal Geographical Society, American Geographical Society, International Commission for Air Navigation, cartography, representation, sovereignty, civilization

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.