Visual Storytelling: Assessing the power of maps in planning

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There is an abundant use of visualisation in spatial planning. This chapter is particularly concerned about planning on the regional level and beyond. On these higher levels of scales maps form the dominant visualisation mode. To fully comprehend and evaluate the content of these maps this chapter first discusses a set of theoretical concepts and considerations under the heading of maps as constructs. This is followed by the main part of the chapter: a discussion about the techniques which map makers seek to use. The main objective of this particular section is to provide a number of tools to interpret and assess the stories told by maps and to look beyond the visual style and seductive image of maps. We round off with the conclusion: the unity of text and maps in (supra)regional planning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching, Learning & Researching Spatial Planning
EditorsRoberto Rocco, Gregory Bracken, Caroline Newton, Marcin Dabrowski
Place of PublicationDelft
PublisherTU Delft OPEN Publishing
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-94-6366-604-6
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • maps
  • visual storytelling
  • planning
  • design
  • semiotics


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