Why maps are made
Why maps are made

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Why maps are made

3.2 Maps and the circuit of knowledge

Activity 3

The circuit of knowledge starts with a question or questions. For example, look at Figure 1 and Map 3, A and B. Figure 1 shows how the circuit of knowledge can be used to investigate a question, using Map 3, A and B, as evidence.

Figure 1
Figure 1 Using the circuit of knowledge to investigate a social science question (see also Map 3, A and B, below)
Map 3
Map 3 The colonization of Africa. Map A: 1880; Map B: 1914 (Source: Knox and Agnew, 1989, Figure 8.5, p.247)


Of course, this brief, very partial exercise produces lots more questions for which we would need to evaluate other sources of evidence. The purpose, however, is to show that maps constitute a source of evidence alongside text, pictures, statistics and spoken words.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371