2. The study of the ontological and epistemological bases of maps and the history of map making and use. People have been producing and using maps for thousands of years. Some academics have even argued that mapping processes are culturally universal, an innate human activity evident across all societies (e.g., Blaut, et al. 2003), although the resulting cartographic representations are very diverse. It was only in the Renaissance, however, that cartography as a codified form of knowledge emerged. Prior to this, knowledge of the geographical world was parochial and documented from multiple perspectives to no formal, universal standards. Areas that were unknown were literally off the map, filled with religious cosmology and figures of myth and imagination. Maps were understood more as reminders or as spatial stories, than as scientific representations of the world based on surveyed data.