Map thinking across the life sciences

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This chapter draws on what I call map thinking – philosophical reflection on mapping and map use – to shed light on representational processes in the life sciences. In particular, it relies on the analogy between mapping and representation or knowledge in general. I first identify three map analogies, which I call literal, causal, and extreme-scale. I then show how these analogies help us to understand three cases, not previously analysed in this light: the evolution of Darwin’s finches according to Peter and Rosemary Grant, Kurt Kohn’s biochemical causal maps, and the extreme-scale gene expression maps of the Allen Human Brain Atlas. Viewing these research programs through a cartographic lens illuminates their purposes and methods, while also helping us look differently at traditional maps and geospatial ontologies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Geospatial Technologies and Society
EditorsAlexander J. Kent, Doug Specht
Number of pages13
Publication date2024
ISBN (Print)9780367428877, 9781032431284
ISBN (Electronic)9780367855765
Publication statusPublished - 2024

ID: 361548555