Reescrituras de una misma geografía: Tensiones entre el Instituto Geográfico Militar (Buenos Aires), el Map of Hispanic America (Nueva York) y la Carte du Monde au Millionième (París – Londres)

Carla Lois

This paper examines the network of discussions, productions, and national cartographic projects organized to fulfill the need of having a map of the world based on international cooperation on behalf of universal science. Specifically, we analyze: the Argentinian participation at the meetings of the Committee of International World Map on the one-millionth scale (IWM or MMM); the institutional organization of the cartographic offices in the early Argentinian bureaucracy in relation to the demands of the IWM; the Argentinian cartographic production to contribute to the project; the “answers” of Argentine cartographic offices to the topographic sheets which the American Geographical Society had presented as part of the provisional plan of Map of Hispanic America to supplement the lack of local production.

In order to inquire into these issues on the basis of empirical materials, we discuss five historical controversies: (1) the debate about the reliability of sources and data collection; (2) political struggles presented in terms of methodological difficulties; (3) tensions between international goals and national interests; (4) geopolitical conflicts over the islands of the South Atlantic; and (5) similarities and differences between political boundaries and sheet borders: graphic economy versus “geopolitical purity.” This analysis will show that cartographic territories had already become as disputed as geographical territories themselves.

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