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Calcutta Maps

Mapping Calcutta

Maps are significant resources in our quest to interpret and understand the Indian city. A collection of maps produced over time reveals how a place has grown and developed whilst other parts are erased and superseded. Maps should not be thought of as simply a means to navigate (although this is very important); they are not innocent documents but highly political modes of representation. The mapping of a territory suggests ownership, domination and control. What is included (and left out) of a map also needs careful consideration, for each map is produced with a specific purpose and cannot show ‘everything’. This process of editing and privileging certain information above other data can reveal agendas, how the city was seen and wider social concerns particularly in the notions of defence and sanitation. The brochure below was produced by Centre for Studies in Social Science, Calcutta with cartography from the Visual Archives, with text by by Keya Dasgupta. Maps of Calcutta from 1742 – 2008 are included.

Click the link to view a PDF of the booklet: Mapping Calcutta