A history of communicating Spatial Information

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Introduction:

In present there are many descriptions of Spatial information but there is one that clearly defines what Spatial information is; “all information which is linked in one way or another, to a place on the surface of the earth” (Jong & Bregt, 1999 as cited in van Van Ooijen, 2007). In other spatial information can also be referred to topology in simpler terms (Klippel, 2012). Moreover, spatial information can also be called a study of maps. Drawing on the walls of the caves have evolved to complex map making artifacts. In ancient times the map making was done on mud, rock, animal skin, clothing and many more. It is conceived that these drawings by the homo sapiens were related to the environment h/she lived in (Silayo, 2002). In this essay we will discuss the historical origins of map making in stone age era to a much-developed map making in today’s technology. The essay will also contain different images that will give a clear understanding to the reader how was spatial information written in ancient times.

The earliest map to be identified was on a clay tablet in Mesopotamia that is now a segment of Iraq, the clay tablet (Figure 1) was found in 3800 BC (Silayo, 2002). According to Van Ooijen (2007), during the period between 3800 BC to 500 BC, Alexander the Great gave orders to geographers to make a map that discovered the sea directions.

Apart from this, many Greek geographers also worked in the field of map making, like Ptolemaeus who contributed his expertise during the 2nd AD was considered a dominant part of the Greek science group. His work in map making is considered to be of great value (Crone, 1978). On the other hand, Romans also participated in the field of map making, the Roman army generals used maps to pre plan their operations. In spatial information history, Peutinger Map (Figure 2) is thought to be one of the earliest road maps, also known as Tabula Peutingeriana. This map consisted of Roman streets, different spots and distance. The evolution and the use of these maps permitted the spectators to understand spatial connection between location, data that once was only carried out through written or verbal sources. Moreover, a map can also be used to showcase power like the Forma Urbis Romae (Figure 3), a map carved on the wall for everybody to see (Van Ooijen, 2007).

The process of map making by the Greeks and Romans characterizes a clear range of resolutions portraying the physical landscapes and represents how can maps be used to measure space and distance (Bac-Bronowicz & Wojciechowska, 2018). Spatial information is carried out by Cartographers through a graphic source entailing a series of symbols (line segments, shapes and points), its variables and construal points written on the maps (Rambaldi, Kyem, McCall & Weiner, 2006).

This essay will talk about the history of communicating spatial information through map making. This essay will also discuss the advance spatial technology used for communicating in this current year.

Historical Era of Spatial Information:

In the earlier times, there wasn’t any advance technology to understand maps so the people at that time used to draw roads, landscapes, sea and many other things on different kinds of objects like, rocks, animal skin, wall, any piece of cloth and etc. The first ever map that was used to convey message to others were cave paintings, the map was engraved on a mammoth tusk (Figure 4) dating back to 25000 BC (Wolodtschenko & Forner, 2007).

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