Digital TV and paper maps

Did a short package with Dutch TV yesterday in Amsterdam talking about the differences between the maps of the great Dutch cartographers of the 17th Century and modern Google Maps.

In some ways there are surprising similarities, both in effect are all about discovery, earlier discoveries of new lands to exploit have been replaced by personal discoveries of places important to the individual a result of yes the democratisation of mapping.   

The 17th century maps of Blaeu et al are currently on display in Amsterdam at an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, Het Scheepvaartmuseum, which is worth a visit if you get the chance.

As a amateur video geek I was impressed to see that even network TV now make use of digital SLRs for video production, not quite the shift mapping is going through from paper to mobile phones but still a significant step from the last generation of big professional video cameras.

Digital video technology has fundamentally changed TV production, I'm sure nobody on the production team of "Een Vandaag " know how to use cine film… I wonder when we will say the same thing about paper maps ?


4 replies on “Digital TV and paper maps”

Nice angle, think the digital TV’s move to DSLR has parallels to GPS tech. Once the preserve of the surveyor, now empowering the public at large in their daily grind. And i suppose this has then had the knock on effect of maps being far more useful to be integrated in the same device. Smart 😉

Interesting angle. I agree with the GPS analogy but don’t think the same holds true for paper maps – at least not entirely. Paper is a medium, not a technology – maybe music is a better analogy. You can print a digital album on vinyl just like a map on paper. Whilst this is a niche, the choice ultimately comes down to the use case. Besides, not everybody with a digital SLR is capable of producing a TV show.

Het Scheep Vaart Museum is a wonderful place. I hope google maps is a bit more accurate than some of the globe maps they have on exhibition :-). I can see there is a certain similarity between google and the old cartographers. Both render the three dimensional world in two dimensions.

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