In A Universal History of Infamy, Jorge Luis Borges speaks of a map, which was the size of the territory, which it mapped. The map was so large that it had to be folded and unfolded and began to deteriorate becoming useless and irrelevant. (42) Why look at this cumbersome map when the information was also in the territory itself? Are we arriving to the full-scale map of this fiction? And is it irrelevant? Or does the map become even more relevant? The Robert Moses three-dimensional map of New York City while not full scale strove for 99% likeness in detail to the reality that it represented. As a huge and elaborate wooden object lit to compress the cycles of the day/night, it remains static and fixed to a fleeted reality. The document while it represents a historical moment in time in the physicality of that city does and did not represent the life and ephemerality of the city except for the fact that it became quickly irrelevant as a tool for urban planning which was its intent. (43) With the technologies that we have available today, we are not only able to represent the city in all of its qualities; realistic and abstract, immersed and removed, qualitative and quantitative but it is also inherent in these processes the representation also being life like, real time, moving and changing. This ease and flexibility allows for constant accuracy. In addition, the map that is produced from below and collectively is inherently and as has been demonstrated more precise. Will we get to an “improved flow of information from citizens to decision-makers, and a strengthening of the form of our built environment”? , (44) and will inhabitants participate more directly in the design of their cities. The city and the map will be ever changing and up-to-date. This document will also be analyzable in its fullness with all of its qualities and therefore the functionality of the body of city and of the human body will be continuously optimized? Does the living map become more relevant by remaining “daily and indefinitely other”? And is the static, fixed, authoritative map dead?
42 Borges, Jorge Luis. A Universal History of Infamy. E P Dutton 1972
43 Ross, Rebecca. Perils of Precision. In Else/where: Mapping New cartographies of Networks and Territories by Janet Abrams and Peter Hall, 184-199. University of Minnesota Press 2006 p. 184
44 Ross, Rebecca. Perils of Precision. In Else/where: Mapping New cartographies of Networks and Territories by Janet Abrams and Peter Hall, 184-199. University of Minnesota Press 2006 p. 186