The shrivelled USA: representing time-space in the context of metropolitanization and the development of high-speed transport

On the one hand the present globalization process has only been made possible through a reduction in time-distances allowed by high-speed transport, and particularly through the development of air transport. On the other hand the metropolitanization process seen as the urban counterpart of globalization is deeply associated with the development of air transport. Understanding distances between places is a fundamental task for the geographer, while the representation of distances constitutes one of the major functions of cartography. Among the types of maps invented to represent time-space, distorted projections were supplemented with time-space relief cartography in the 1990s. This paper proposes a representation of the time-space relief of the USA considering terrestrial and air modes. This constitutes a key innovation in this type of cartography, giving the possibility of creating a representation of global time-space. The metaphors associated with the images proposed are then discussed evoking the shrinking, the crumpling and finally the shrivelling of time-space. The shrivelling metaphor takes account of the complicated contraction/expansion movement that high-speed transport impacts on space and allows for a rich interpretation of the time-space relief map of the USA in the perspective of the processes of globalization and metropolitanization.


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  • Accession Number: 01141719
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 6 2009 2:24PM