The Paris Review: ‘Sin Entered the Map’

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  10.10.11 | 7:04 AM ET

In The Paris Review, Avi Steinberg considers the messy complications of Google Street View—a map that shows us so much more than lines on a grid. Money quote:

A person seeking directions to Starbucks generally does not want to be told to “take a left at the homeless child.” To truly use the country as its own map, it turns out, involves weaving discomfiting images of the country directly into the fabric of the map. The result is not a tidy diagram of the world abstracted onto a blank slab—as nearly all maps since Mesopotamia have been—but rather a patchwork that chronicles, among many other things, the troubling process by which the map was composed.

(Via Andrew Sullivan)

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

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