r.patterson

“...’what a useful thing a pocket-map is!’ I remarked. ‘That’s another thing we’ve learned from your Nation’, said Mein Herr, ‘map-making. But we’ve carried it much further than you. What do you consider the largest map that would be really useful?’ ‘About six inches to the mile.’ ‘Only six inches!’ exclaimed Mein herr. ‘We very soon got to six yards to the mile. then we tried a hundred yards to the mile. and then came the grandest idea of all! We actually made a map of the country, on the scale of a mile to a mile!’ ‘Have you used it much?’ I inquired. ‘It has never been spread out, yet,’ said Mein Herr: ‘the farmers objected: they said it would cover the whole country, and shut out the sunlight! So we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well.’”

Lewis Carroll
Sylvie and Bruno Concluded

“In that Empire, the craft of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a Single Province covered the space of an entire City, and the Map of the Empire itself an entire Province. In the course of time, these Extensive maps were found somehow wanting, and so the college of Cartographers evolved a Map of the Empire that was of the same scale as the Empire and that coincided with it point for point. Less attentive to the study of Cartography, succeeding Generations came to judge a map of such Magnitude cumbersome, and, not without Irreverence, they abandoned it to the rigours of sun and Rain. In the western Deserts, tattered Fragments of the Map are still to be found, Sheltering an occasional Beast of beggar; in the whole Nation, no other relic is left of the discipline of Geography.”

Jorge Luis Borges
from “Of exactitude in science”
in A Universal History of Infamy