L’IMPERO IN 3D: RIFLESSIONI SUL RUOLO DELLA CARTOGRAFIA IN RILIEVO NELL’AMBITO DEL PROGETTO CARTOGRAFICO COLONIALE ITALIANO
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The analysis of some cartographic colonial documents in relief, belonging to the vast patrimony of the Italian Military Geographic Institute, offers the opportunity to clarify the role and functions of the relief maps within the traditional cartographic communication. The military «obsession» for the description of «forms of the ground» – the physical morphology of the territory – connected to the problematic nature of its representation, realized by the level curves, drove the military institutions to produce cartography in relief, where the representation of the orography of the territory was not made by means of a geometrical code, not understandable with immediacy, but was perceived directly to vision (naturalized). The article then concentrates, using the categories of cartographic semiosis, on an analysis in detail of some colonial cartographic documents in relief. It emerges from this analysis that this cartography has declined to return the social values of the basic territory. On this semantic vacuum it has introduced a propagandistic communication aimed at bringing out the colonial project of imperial style that Italy, after the constitution of the Empire, was trying to realize in those territories.