Student Glossary Entries

Student research on key terms in early modern mapmaking.

City View

The city view can be considered a cartographical material with the city as the primary subject. Often used interchangeably with bird’s-eye view, the city-view is a large subset of the chorographical genre, one that employs a diversity of perspective plans to convey a holistic view of the urban space, such as landscape, bird’s eye, town-plan, and profile.



Portraiture as a style of representation generally depicts a subject—subjects which could include both people and cities—as a single entity, aiming to construct an argument about some characteristics of that entity. Chorographic city views and maps can often be considered examples of portraits that utilize locations, such as cities, as their subjects.


Bird's Eye View

No items found.

The precise definition of a bird’s-eye view has been a subject of considerable debate in the history of cartography. There is general consensus that the term connotes being ‘above’ in some manner, but bird’s-eye view is often used to refer to perspectives that are at various possible angles.



Mapping is the physical process of representing spaces with a symbolic language. As Cosgrove asserts, it is not merely rooted in scientific design, but rather a “creative process.”[2] Some theorists have included both the consumption and circulation of maps in the active process of mapping. Mapping constructed a cartographic language in how physical spaces are represented.



Atlases are collections of maps bound into a single piece, usually a book. They usually included texts, such as geographical descriptions of the places depicted in the maps. Within individual atlases, the maps in the collection were fairly uniform in format, design, and presentation. Atlases as a genre however, were not married to a single style of mapmaking, but embraced the diversity and hybridity of cartographic style.