Aaron Taveras

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I’m a graduate student in the Geography Department at the University of Kansas, where I’m studying design cartography in general, and also how maps affect our perceptions of the environment and each other. These interests stem from my passion for art and design and the powerful impact it can have on influencing our ideas. This interest in map design roots back to a single moment when I realized that I enjoy making visual things. About three years ago I came across geography and cartography as an undergraduate, and not too long after I realized that cartography is far more than a science for depicting the world, it is also a form of art. One of my mentors once told me that people trust maps because they’re technical and authoritative, but unless the map is beautiful and tells a story, no one is likely to care. This has stuck with me, and I believe that good, beautiful, and convincing map design can illuminate aspects of our world that otherwise would remain neglected. Therefore, my wanting to work with HASTAC relates to my interest in collaborating with others in order help us better understand our environment (physical and cultural). Cartography and education are in no way solitary fields, and I would like to participate in understanding how mapping is being used, discussed, and taught within the humanities.

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