Borges and maps
As described by Jorge Luis Borges in of his novel:
"... In this empire the art of cartography had reached such a perfection that a map of a single county covered a whole city, and a map of the empire that of a whole county. Finally, a point was reached when these colossal maps were no longer considered satisfactory, and the institutions of the cartographers made a map of the empire which was as large as the empire itself and coincided with it point for point. Later generations, who were less prone to practice the art of cartography, came to realize that this vast map was useless and through some neglect abandoned it to the forces of sun and winters. In the deserts of the western regions [of the empire], home to beasts and beggars, there remained dispersed ruins of the map, but otherwise there were no remains of the practice of geography in the whole land."
Why do I blog this? In this excerpt, Borges mock the utopian 1-1 cartography of the world by showing how such a mapping would be as large as what it represents. I found interesting to use this quote to demonstrate the difference between reality and what can be mapped.