James Madison University

DIAGRAM: Constructed Cartography

Wagons and Riverboats

Constructed Cartography is a way of measuring how closely things are related with no regard to physical distance.  For example, although the physical distance from A (MN) to B (IA)  never changes, how close the two states are when measured using constructed cartography changes based on travel method.  As depicted here, because wagon trails generally run east to west while rivers generally run north to south, the distance from A (MN) to B (IA) is less, or the states are “closer”, when traveling on a river boat (down the Mississippi) and “further apart” when traveling by wagon.