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Public Affairs

How Maps Influenced Our Ideas About Mars

OSIRIS_Mars_true_color.jpg
By ESA & MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA, CC BY-SA IGO 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 igo, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56489423
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Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/igo/deed.en
True color image of Mars taken by the OSIRIS instrument on the ESA Rosetta spacecraft during its February 2007 flyby of the planet.

University Showcase 4/16 8a: From "War of the Worlds" to "The Martian Chronicles," the planet Mars has long held a grip on our popular imagination. But where did these early ideas about vast networks of canals and advanced, and sometimes hostile, civilizations come from?  On this episode we explore the power of mapmaking to create reality, but also the tendency to work out our own problems on Earth by projecting them onto Mars.

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Maria Lane

  Professor Maria Lane chairs the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies at the University of New Mexico. She studies environmental knowledge claims and is particularly interested in maps, science, and stories and the roles they play in creating, challenging, or legitimizing different human-environment understandings, which is why the evolution of knowledge and stories about Mars are so appealing to her.

She’s the author of the book “Geographies of Mars: Seeing and Knowing the Red Planet" and was recently featured in a National Geographic video about feuding Mars mapmakers.

  

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