A map is a peculiar kind of visual text. It seems a mere instrument of utility, showing us where to go and how to put things in place. Invisible ingredients, however, render every map a Pandora's box. Emotions are undoubtedly the most potent of all of the invisible elements in maps. The cartographic passions that make the headlines may be national ones, but in cities, towns, and villages, people have strong feelings about local maps. Street gangs, real estate developers, insurance companies, zoning boards, planners, and electorates invest maps with local politics. Landowners love their property lines. Universities map their campus identity. The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) signifies itself succinctly in its logo, a map of Asia. Such territorial attachments and many others have striking similarities: they infuse boundaries with iconic significance, tinged with feelings of security, belonging, possessiveness, enclosure, entitlement, and exclusion.

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