Comment définiriez vous, en anglais, les termes « mapping » et « cartography » ? Y-a-t-il une différence ?
Voilà la question intéressante posée par Naomi, une collègue architecte de Singapour.
We can actually use these two terms to define « the image which is a representation of the world, or a portion (big or small) of the world »
In french, we say « je cartographie un pays » which can be translated in english by : « I am mapping a country », which means in other words that it is the same thing.
May be we could introduce a difference by saying that « mapping » would be the act of drawing a représentation of the world, and « cartography » would be generally speaking the science of representing the world by symbols (linear, surface and points), the science of graphically representing a geographical area
Be aware also that mapping and cartography are two words that could be uses for complete other purposes : for example, in Maths, it means « putting objects in relationships ». It is also used for representing the organisation opf the engine of a car, or a enterprise organogramme.
For me using one or other of the term depends on how I feel it. The choice is rather spontaneous, and there is not really rules. Some examples :
I would say :
– Participative/collective mapping : the act of drawing a geographical reality together with other people
– Critical cartography : the type of caertography which propose an alternative view to conventionnal geographical representation. But you coul find in the litterature the expression « critical mapping or experimental mapping » as well
– Historical cartography : all images and representation of the world done by ancient cartographers up to, for example, the second world war
– Data mapping : visual representation (graphics or maps) created out of quantitative data and treatment odf statistics
In conclusion, there is no risk to use a word instead of the other as both of them describe the same thing, with some slight difference described above.