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Visual geographies – an editorial

Schlottmann, A and Miggelbrink, J (2009) Visual geographies – an editorial. Copernicus Publications.

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    The use of image-processing procedures and techniques and their products – photographs, aerial photographs, satellite images, maps – and the application of GIS and GPS, so-called “geomatics” (Thornes, 2004:787), are taken for granted in academic geographical practice today. This practice involves the development and adaptation of cartographic and visual material as well as the application and communication of geographical knowledge in a non-textual way. Technical developments in both hardware and software mean that visual representations can be created, reproduced and edited with comparative ease (Thornes, 2004). However, there is a certain imbalance between this progressive habitualization to the use of visual materials and the paucity of related critical reflection. In contrast to the “fundamental visual disciplines” (Sachs-Hombach, 2005:14)1 such as philosophy, psychology, cognition studies, communications science and art history, which explicitly study the typology, use and functions of images, geography has so far produced practically no systematic attempts to develop a visual theory. Geography is primarily a discipline that uses images. Indeed: “It sounds almost trivial to point out that geography is a quintessentially visual enterprise” (Sui, 2000:322). Hitherto, geography’s visual approach to the world and its attempts to develop a clear picture of reality, seem rather to have inhibited epistemological reflection on visuality and visualisation (Tuan, 1979; Rose, 2003). Thus images and visuality could prove to be a geographical blind spot for the very reason that they play such a prominent role in geography.

    Type du document: Article
    Sujets: Articles > Geosciences
    Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
    Déposé par: Editeur UVT
    Date de dépôt: 07 Apr 2011 12:36
    Dernière modification: 07 Apr 2011 12:36

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