ERIC Number: ED045479
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1970-Sep-9
Reference Count: N/A
Universal Symbols and Cartography.
The broad use of maps by non-cartographers imposes on the cartographer the burden to make maps not only accurate, but to use symbols which make map-reading easier for the public. The latter requirement implies a need for universal symbols. Although there are no universal symbols today (letters, words, and figures, to a lesser extent, are dependent for their meaning on the symbology of particular cultures), there are favorable factors which could make cartography a first in the development of truly universal graphic symbols. There are three major categories of graphic symbols: pictographic, concept-related, and arbitrary symbols. Official Canadian and U.S. maps, among others, have all three symbol types represented. In order to remove this complexity and make progress toward universal symbols, at least two actions will be required: 1) agreement among the professional and governmental organizations concerned with symbols of a given country as to what symbols are currently in use, and which of these are primary candidates for standardization, and 2) organization of a permanent international agency for the development of universal symbols, perhaps as an expansion of the existing International Standards Organization. (JLB)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Queen's Univ., Kingston (Ontario).