The original purpose of maps is to provide direction from one place to another and to chart regions. In today’s world, there is a whole gambit of maps that are built on the collection of many different types of information. There is no doubt that these maps can be most interesting. They can provide all kinds of information about a region at a glance. But there are some downfalls to these and some potentially serious repercussions.
User Made Maps
There are tons of user made maps which appear on the internet. Most often when they are maps of interest they get heavily shared via social media platforms. Often to the point where they become viral. These maps can be information maps that cover a large collection of topics.
During the US elections, user made maps were rampant regarding the topic of the election. While many found these to be interesting they can also be grossly misleading. The danger comes when people start making decisions on inaccurate maps or forming opinions.
What may seem like a simple map of interest can be taken and manipulated where it is used to misinform people.
Maps for Visual Purposes
Quite often user made information maps are created for the purposes of being a visual. But the creator of the map may not realize the power of influence the map may have. It is the natural instinct for individuals to rely on maps as accurate sources of information. This is because the intended use of a traditional map is to give directions and to accurately identify areas.
There is a natural trust that comes with maps. This trust appears to be automatically transferred over to user made maps. The map creator may not be fully aware of the impact they are having and may not put enough credence on the provision or accuracy of the information being provided.