Mapping the Deep Blue Oceans

  • Rasmus Grønfeldt WintherEmail author
Part of the Springer Geography book series (SPRINGERGEOGR)


The ocean terrain spanning the globe is vast and complex—far from an immense flat plain of mud. To map these depths accurately and wisely, we must understand how cartographic abstraction and generalization work both in analog cartography and digital GIS. This chapter explores abstraction practices such as selection and exaggeration with respect to mapping the oceans, showing significant continuity in such practices across cartography and contemporary GIS. The role of measurement and abstraction—as well as of political and economic power, and sexual and personal bias—in these sciences is illustrated by the biographies of Marie Tharp and Bruce Heezen, whose mapping of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge precipitated a paradigm shift in geology.


Cartography GIS Abstraction Simplification Selection Exaggeration Oceanography Bathymetry Scale Map projections Marie Tharp Bruce Heezen Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory Heinrich Berann Ocean charts Physiographic diagrams Panorama maps Plate tectonics Cold War Women in science Bias Discrimination Workplace harassment 



Kristine Sergejeva provided expert project coordination. Laura Laine secured figure permissions. Mats Wedin processed and finalized figures. Lucas McGranahan and Gloria Sturzenacker provided outstanding editorial commentary. Heidi Svenningsen Kajita and Mette Bannergaard Johansen were sounding boards. Gratitude to all.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

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