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Why Are Maps Still So Powerful?

Rana Mitter presents a discussion asking if maps can reveal too much and how they direct our thinking. With Ordnance Survey head Dr Vanessa Lawrence and Professor Jerry Brotton.

Can a map reveal too much? How do they direct our thinking? From ancient atlases to satnav and Google, maps continue to be a key planning tool.

Rana Mitter hosts a discussion recorded at BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival at Sage, Gateshead between Vanessa Lawrence CB, head of Ordnance Survey and Professor Jerry Broton. They look at who owns the data? What are they doing with it? Who are they selling it to? Who has peer reviewed the maps?

Professor Jerry Brotton, Professor of Renaissance Studies in the Department of English, Queen Mary, University of London is the author of A History of the World in Twelve Maps and presenter of the BBC Four TV series Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession.

Vanessa Lawrence is advisor to the British government on mapping, surveying and geographic information. She is honorary vice-president of the Geographical Association and visiting Professor at the University of Southampton and Kingston University.

First broadcast in November 2013.

Producer: Neil Trevithick.

Available now

45 minutes

Professor Jerry Brotton

Jerry Brotton is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London.

 

His book 'A History of the World in Twelve Maps' is out now published by Allen Lane.

 

He presents the BBC Four series Maps: Power, Pluner and Possession.

Vanessa Lawrence

Vanessa Lawrence is honorary vice-president of the Geographical Association and visiting Professor at the University of Southampton and Kingston University.

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