Maps of the Moon

Lunar Cartography from the Seventeenth Century to the Space Age


When does a depiction of the moon become a lunar map? This publication addresses this question from theoretical and historical standpoints. It is argued that moon maps are of crucial importance to the history of cartography, for they challenge established notions of what a map is, how it functions, what its purposes are, and what kind of power it embodies and performs. The publication also shows how terrestrial cartography has shaped the history of lunar mapping since the seventeenth century, through visual and nomenclature conventions, the cultural currency of maps, mapmakers’ social standing, and data-gathering and projection practices. It further demonstrates that lunar cartography has also been organized by an internal principle that is born of the fundamental problem of how to create static map spaces capable of representing a referent that is constantly changing to our eyes, as is the visible face of the moon. It is suggested that moon maps may be classed in three broad categories, according to the kinds of solutions for this representational problem that have been devised over the last 400 years.

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Thomás A. S. Haddad, Ph.D. (2004), University of São Paulo, is Senior Lecturer in the History of Science at that university. He has published book chapters and articles on the cultural history of early modern astronomy, and is currently the editor of the Brazilian Journal for the History of Science.

Maps of the Moon: Lunar Cartography from the Seventeenth Century to the Space Age
Thomás A. S. Haddad

 Introduction: Bringing the History of Cartography to the History of Moon Maps
 1 Approaches to the Specificity of Moon Maps
 2 Making It Visible: Bringing the Moon Down to the Earth
 3 Making It Legible: Taking the Earth Up to the Moon
 4 Time Concreted
 5 Time Abstracted
 6 Time Eliminated
 Concluding Remarks: the Moon Is Dead, Long Live the Moon
All readers with an interest in the history of cartography and astronomy at large, as well as those concerned with the intersection between visual studies and the history of science.
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