Too slow, too quick, too small, too big

Too slow, too quick, too small, too big—An incomplete guide to reading, imagining, and making maps

by Monica Basbous

By negotiating visibility and erasure, complexity and abstraction, documentation and fiction, maps oscillate between the desire to see, and the need to bring forth worlds and realities. Often produced from positions of power and knowledge, maps are inherently politically motivated instruments, deployed to describe and prescribe carefully chosen objects, relationships, and possibilities.

This growing collection of resources situates my own mapping practice, and presents an incomplete guide to anyone wishing to read, imagine and make maps. It has been compiled over the past five years and has provided the basis for various lectures and workshops.

Click here to access Monica’s map of resources as a clickable PDF

List of Resources:
Atlantropa Map Resource (Edouard Saladier)
Dutch proposal to dam the North Sea (Caspian Report)
Where will the future take place? (Monica Basbous)
How Earth Would Look if All the Ice Melted (Science Insider)
Terrible Maps
North Sea Drainage Project to Increase Area of Europe
What Happens to Google Maps When Tectonic Plates Move? (George Musser, Scientific American)
Map of protests in Lebanon, October 2019
The eBOSS 3D map of the Universe (Laboratory of Astrophysics (LASTRO) at EPFL)
This is Not Beirut (There was and there was not) (Jayce Salloum, 1994)
“Movies: We gotta save the world” meme
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving GraceThe Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts (Adam Curtis)
Domestic Tourism II (Maha Maamoun, 2009)
The map we need if we want to think about how global living conditions are changing (Max Roser, Our World in Data)
Why All World Maps are Wrong (Johnny Harris, Vox)
January 11 in #Lebanon in 22 years (2000-2021) using MODIS imagery from NASA (Hadi Jaafar)
An interactive map for all geocoded Parler videos (Kyle McDonald)
Lebanese Banks’ Real Estate Map
Bus Map Project
Cell Signaling Technology Molecular Landscapes
Powers of Ten (Charles and Ray Eames, 1977)
Cosmic View: The Universe in 40 Jumps (Kees Boeke, 1957)
La Ville 17h38 (Yann Tiersen)
On Exactitude in Science (Jorge Luis Borges, 1946)
Vito Acconci // Blinks (Emily Allen)
Mark Lombardi’s selected works
How mapping the weather 12,000 years ago can help predict future climate change (Brice Rea, The Conversation)
The Beirut Urban Observatory
This Is Not an AtlasA Documentary on Counter-Cartographies
Dymaxion map (Wikipedia)
List of map projections (Wikipedia)
The True Size Of…
The View From the Road (D. Appleyard, Kevin Lynch, John R. Myer) [Paper]
View From the Road (Kevin Lynch, 1965) [Film]
Atlas of Surveillance: Documenting Police Tech in Our Communities with Open Source Research
Q Anon: “Learn to Read the Map”, A Cartography of the Globally Organized Corruption Networks: A Treasure Trove of Maps, Diagrams, Org Charts, and Family Trees (The Infomaniac, Dylan Louis Monroe)
The Accidental Room (99% Invisible)
All San Francisco Eviction Notices, 1997-2020 (Anti-Eviction Mapping Project)
Narratives of Displacement and Resistance (Anti-Eviction Mapping Project)
Beirut Built Environment Database
The Agency of Mapping: Speculation, Critique, and Invention (James Corner, 2011)
Art-Machines, Body-Ovens and Map-Recipes: Entries for a Psychogeographic Dictionary (kanarinka, Cartographic Perspectives, Number 53, Winter 2006)
The Waldseemüller Map: Charting the New World (Toby Lester, Smithsonian Magazine)
Mapping the Oceans: How cartographers saw the world in the Age of Discovery (Helen M. Rozwadowski, Lapham’s Quarterly)
World map by Nicolas Deslien, 1566
Map of the World Showing the Extent of the British Empire in 1886
New Babylon: A Nomadic Town (Constant, Not Bored)
Paul-Henry Chombart de Lauwe’s map of a young woman’s journeys through Paris, 1957
New Babylon-Paris (Constant)
The Naked City (Guy Debord, 1957)
J. N. Bellin’s 1778 nautical chart of the world
The “Columbus map” drawn circa 1490 in the workshop of Bartolomeo and Christopher Columbus in Lisbon
Map of Constantinople (1422) by Florentine cartographer Cristoforo Buondelmonte
Zheng He’s sailing charts (Wikipedia)
Early world maps (Wikipedia)
Human cartography: when it is good to map (D. Dorling, Environment and Planning A, 1998, volume 30)
The Phantom Atlas: The Greatest Myths, Lies and Blunders on Maps (Edward Brook-Hitching, 2016)
Refugees as City-Makers (Mona Fawaz, Ahmad Gharbieh, Mona Harb, Dounia Salamé, 2018)
Data Feminism (Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein, 2020)
A Grandma’s Kitchen, Measured (Lara Agosti)
The Decolonial Atlas
The politics of making maps (Sébastien Caquard and Eva Salinas, Open Canada)
Cüirtopia (Dr. Regner Ramos)
Towards Decolonial Futures: New Media, Digital Infrastructures, and Imagined Geographies of Palestine (Meryem Kamil, 2019)
TimeMap by Rasheedah Phillips
Inefficient Mapping: A Protocol for Attuning to Phenomena (Linda Knight, 2021)
Dunhuang Star map (Wikipedia)
Maps are Territories (David Turnbull)
10th century map of the Caspian sea by Ibn Hawqal
Catalan Atlas (Wikipedia)
Gerald Danzer on Critical Mapping
Landing Sites (Trevor Paglen)
Black Sites (Trevor Paglen)
Dashed Lines and Dashed Hopes: The Downside of Google’s “Neutrality” (Luke O’Connell, Brown Political Review)
How Google Builds Its Maps—and What It Means for the Future of Everything (Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic)
Land doesn’t vote. People do.
The World’s Abortion Laws (Center for Reproductive Rights)
An Atlas of Radical Cartography (Lize Mogel and Alexis Bhagat)
When Maps Become the World (Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, 2020)
Archive of Observation Scores
Palestine Open Maps
A Map for the Camp (Greening Bourj Al Shamali)
Giant Indigenous artwork returns to Australian desert after 20 years (Emily Jane Smith, ABC News)
A View from Above–Balloon Mapping Bourj Al Shamali (Claudia Martinez Mansell , Mustapha Dakhloul and Firas Ismail, This is Not An Atlas, 2018)
Amazon Prime and Uber Are Changing the Map of Your City (Benjamin Freed, Washingtonian)
Marco Ferrari (Studio Folder): Italian Limes: Mapping the Shifting Border Across Alpine Glaciers
How Not To Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File (Hito Steyerl, 2013)
Pandemic cartographies: a conversation on mappings, imaginings and emotions (Andrea Pase, Laura Lo Presti, Tania Rossetto, Giada Peterle, 2021)
North Carolina Court Says G.O.P. Political Maps Violate State Constitution (Michael Wines, New York Times)
Violence at the Threshold of Detectability (Eyal Weizman, e-flux Journal)