“prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.”

Taken from Oxford,

Discussed in Harley’s “Texts and Contexts in the Interpretation of Early Maps”

4 thoughts on “Bias”

  1. The word ‘bias’ makes me think of other similar words such as persuasion and myth. In the text, Harley makes several comments on how maps are speculated to be graphic representations instead of factual evidence. This makes one wonder who makes these maps, if they are correct, and if there’s any updating to be done.

  2. Bias in my opinion is when there is some sort of personal perspective that is apparent to others regarding some topic. When it comes to map projections, these personal perspectives can either be intentional or unintentional. For example, map makers in the early colonial period put more detail on areas in the east coast because those were the areas they were more familiar with. Intentional and unintentional bias can both be harmful to society because it often clouds our perspectives and prevents us from looking at all sides of the story.

  3. I think the word “bias” and maps will always continue to relate to one another as long as people continue to make maps. Maps in my opinion will always have some sort of bias perspective created with them, because each map maker is distinct and holds their own opinions. Even statistical data collected that can help to create models and maps can sometimes be bias, even though data can be factual. Sometimes, there is an intention for maps or models to be created with a bias perspective, whether it be for cultural, political, or societal reasons, and this can sometimes affect the way people think. It is important when analyzing maps or data to have an open mind because an individual can be easily distracted by bias perspectives.

  4. Biases in maps are probably the most prominent elements that are always implemented yet are daily overlooked when analyzing a map. It is impossible to construct a map, or any image that does not emanate a bias. When a cartographer is constructing a map though he or she may not know it, there is actually a display of some of his personal prejudices that are used to show a viewer/audience a perception of the world through his or her lens. One can argue that in fact google earth has prevented this idea of biases or created a map that has no biases as it is just a depiction of the earth through satellite imaging. Maybe it is able to fix area that the mediators projection could not in regard to proportional size, but having one depiction of the world would be viewing it though the lens of one software. Is it possible for anything to be nonpartisan in the current day and age or ever considering the influence of humanistic geography?

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