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Abstract

Abstract

Maps play a central role in the transfer of knowledge for biodiversity conservation. However, their production and reception contexts have not been sufficiently investigated so far. While critical cartography has demonstrated that maps are not objective representations of nature but are influenced by social conventions, these insights have not been fully reflected in ecological mapping practice. This paper draws on critical map theory and expands it with a critical evaluation of map visualization. By analyzing the design of biodiversity maps, our study demonstrates that the way biodiversity is visualized in maps does not adequately reflect the dynamics and interdependencies of natural systems, nor does it adequately reflect the species-specific needs. It is argued that design-led research provides relevant knowledge about evaluating maps in terms of their functionality as communication tools. This is of central importance if we wish to further develop ecological cartography and make it practicable and effective in its field of application.

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/content/journals/10.1075/idj.23007.sch
2024-05-27
2024-06-19
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: map design ; critical cartography ; biodiversity maps ; visual analyses ; ecology
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