VisMin Island?

Did you know that Philippines is composed of two regional islands, Luzon and Mindanao? That Mindanao is the biggest island in the country? This is true, at least according to a planner distributed by Chowking!

The 2012 planner of Chowking features this new map of the country, to boast its 72 branches in Visayas and Mindanao. The problem is that the map does not really act as a visual representation of the data. It does not clearly show the location and simply leads to confusion. You would immediately notice that something is wrong on how the map was printed or made. The map is composed of two layers: the outline represented by a black line; and cover which is represented by gray polygons. The two layers do not overlay each other. You would easily see that the map was not made properly and might have simply come from two existing mapswith different spatial reference that are put together. As a result, the outline combines Visayas and Mindanao into one big island region.

What could we get from this kind of mistake? — It is warning for us, geographers, and cartographers or map makers that we should always be responsible and careful to all map work we are producing. This type of mistakes would cause wrong information dissemination to young people who might encounter such maps. Just for example, if maps of this kind where printed not on a planer but on a reference book for elementary, students would easily mislead themselves on geographic information of the Philippines.

Map making is not just a form of art especially if you are about to publish or present it in public. Unlike painting and other art works with high extent of subjectivity, map presents a portion of reality and thus, objectivity of your work should always be taken into consideration.

Again, map making is a discipline and should not be taken for granted. Yes, we all have cartographic knowledge, but to make a good useful map for the public, requires extensive knowledge and responsibility.

In this case of improperly made Philippine map, it should be a wake up call not only to Chowking but to all those companies and people who will produce map for what purpose it is in the future. It may look simple and easy but again, always taken into consideration the proper technique and responsibility and making this maps.

(As of now, chowking has not yet released any statements regarding the maps used in their planner. May this article serve as guide for them to look and review the maps they have used for their planner.)

Source: Chowking 2012 planner. (All pictures are property of the writer)


One comment on “VisMin Island?

  1. Thank you Alip for managing to single out this particular anomalous map from the countless designs from planners sold nationwide. This is an example of cartography that doesn’t deserve its name, one that should only be cited as a mere illustration in a guise of a map. Alip is agreeable on many points, though it will be better that he does not forget the cartographer’s intention as another factor to consider in map-making, since map objectivity may as well be dependent on this. On the other hand, his disclaimer on Chowking’s side of story at the end amuses me to no end since it immeasurably stresses the importance of his critique. Cheers.

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