This research implies that there exists an interrelation of oil in both the concepts of maps and sense of place. The research utilizes the case wherein maps are used as marketing tools for oil industry that greatly affects both the concept of maps and our ‘sense of place’.
During the latter years of 1920s, oil companies utilized road maps as their foremost marketing strategy and offer maps freely to customers. They employed cartography widely as a tool for advertisement. An approximated yearly production of roadmaps of around seventy million was reported by a Rand McNally executive in 1934. Moreover, the 1964 gas maps output was calculated to reach two hundred million, while the collective output of the former fifty years reached around five billion copies of road maps. All in all, there are around ten billion copies of road maps produced by different sources over the century.
Maps have different uses aside from its primary function of keeping traveling people on track. Other than the aforementioned utilization of maps, they have been put on the market as consumer goods from the sixteenth century. However, using maps as promotional material is a more current expansion of their use. Promotional cartography is basically intended for travelers because they are part of geological enterprise. Travelers consume geographic data at varied time from the point of preparation for an upcoming trip up to its accomplishment. In the modernized world where adventurers travel broadly, swiftly and independently, they employed maps to weigh options in the navigation endeavor. On the other hand, vehicles use maps for traveling beyond the knowledge of their daily journey. Without the maps, travelers use verbal itineraries .
Sense of place describes an argument about the uncertainty of the term and our relation to it. Concept of place is not stagnant. Sense of place is based on social interactions that are dynamic and continuously moving. Places are unbounded and can be considered as a process. Maps as a promotional tool has greatly impact the consumers as well as producers in the oil-related industries. Maps provide us sense of place. However, boundaries are only needed for studies such as mapping. The ‘sense of place’ does not have boundaries because it involves the outside-inside interactions of its components.
Oil in Relation to Maps
The earliest structure intended particularly for the distribution of oil and gas was built during 1913. For the following years, national and regional oil producer companies and other related distributors combined their power over local industries. Together, they generated the exploitation of characteristic brands, and homogenized the structural design of their locations and commercial logos. However, there is a little distinction between the petroleum products accessible to one recognized station to another station .
Given the situation, companies search for marketing strategies that will help them obtain the loyalty of their customers. Oil and gas retailers distributed a distinguishable constructive business imagery that emphasize on special service, together with the offering of free trip guidance and information. Offering road maps was an idyllic strategy to set off their promotion. The maps as advertising materials aided companies to improve business imagery and endorse explicit products. Moreover, maps do not only serve as a marketing means but they also offer rather more.
Consumers using motors indisputably appreciated navigational data travel recommendation without obvious outlay. Upon the introduction of well-known commercial cartographers, like Rand McNally, the price to the oil retailers was reduced. Rand McNally used illustrative maps for railroads to go with different rail customers in 1870s and it printed routinely editions of its location atlases for journals, which disseminated the atlases as first-class or at markdown to their customers in 1890s .
The contribution of the oil corporations in travel scheduling was highly structured further by the formation of travel agencies in joint venture with their cartographic dealers. The agencies were recognized via name with the oil corporation just like their maps. However, the cartographic publishers provided the maps as well as correlated journals distributed by the agencies and who frequently comprised the employees of the bureaus. The initial services materialized on the agency built in New York in 1926. Other oil companies eventually adopted the same strategy and structure their own agencies. They supplied maps to clientele, designed thorough programs on obtainable maps, and endow data with recommended targets. Some brochures documented include ‘Where Will the Road Take Us’ and ‘Historic Tours in Soconyland’ .
The most ground-breaking oil business and travel agency was built in 1930 by the H.M. Gousha in the company of Continental Oil (Conoco). The company plotted around 350,000 trips in 1935, and launched a detailed published travel diagram and collection that integrated attractions and hotel listings, demonstrated travel information and noted sectional maps .
Maps certainly played an important role in oil companies. Maps are regarded to contain overload valuable images and represent nut just location but also social relations. A map can be a language that translates the views of the world to images. Maps images have political influences in our society. They are also deemed to contain sociology of knowledge that managed and guided social systems’ geographical expansion.
As the railroad systems developed further, automobile tourism also spread out. There is a growing need of producing maps as the impact of vehicular pollution and pollution from constructed road grow bigger in the environment. Oil price is also increasing. An elaborate map can guide travelers to the shortest route that will help them consume oil less since oil nowadays are relatively expensive.
There were two relations of oil with maps that are discussed in this section. The first relation is the marketing strategy of oil companies using maps. Next is the reduction of oil consumption and cost through efficient travelling with the utilization of maps. This paper discusses oil and its relation to the concepts of ‘maps’ and ‘sense of place’ which are foremost important idea for geographers.
Oil in Relation to Sense of Place
As mentioned above, maps are utilized as a marketing tool. This greatly relates to the ‘sense of place’ of both consumers and producers.
Although ‘sense of place’ has different descriptions, it gives rise to the argument about the uncertainty of the term and our relation to it. It includes the sense of global village, disruptions of horizons and speed-up. The expression ‘time-space compression’ was also introduced. In the modern world, we have the connotation about having homogenous community built to oppose disruption and counter-position. The desire for coherence gives rise to reactions defensive reactions of nationalism that contest outsiders. Sense of place in this occasion is deemed to be reactionary. People have different reactions towards the time when their sense of place has been changed by the existence of maps.
The strategy of marketing maps provides people to attain a clearer sense of place. The speed-up sense determines the economic forces which establish the experience of place and space. There exist a complex combination of racism, colonialism relative wealth and gender relation. There are more methods to define our sense of space than the notion of capital because money or capital cannot hold for the issue. Power geometry of time-space compression is varied in different social groups. There are many ways of interconnections. Although the element of knowing who goes outside is important, it but it is not the only issue. There is differentiated mobility; some are on the receiving end while some are held captive. However, some possess the control on both the moving out and the communicating end. They are consisted of highly complicated social differentiation. The methods on how people are positioned in the time-space compression are different and multifaceted. This notion gives rise to politics of access and mobility. Movement of people is imbalance and control groups can dominate others. Time space compression weakens others. People have possessed, somehow, a control over time and space upon acquiring knowledge of a place form the distributed maps.
The oil industry’s concept of marketing maps also influences the capital and labor of the field. Capital and labor is related to these ideas since the ability of the capital to move around the globe makes it stronger compared to non-moving labors. Time space compression can create feelings of vulnerability. People need a strong sense of place that can create a sanctuary. Sense of place can offer stability and definite sense of identity. However, place are rejected by people in progressive status in a reactionary sense. Evasion and retreat are associated with the sense of place. Place is a form of escape from real business and is equated to reaction and statis, while time is associated with progression and movement. Sense of place has a single identity formed from reclusive that explores into the history for internalized beginning. Cultural, economic, social and political relations dominate the globe in various ways and degree. It can originate from household up to worldwide status. Understanding and experience are made from a bigger degree rather than a place. This makes the sense of place to be extroverted and to be incorporated in both local and global concern. Concept of place can be developed because it is certainly not static. Since sense of place is made from the concepts of social interactions, then these interactions are as well dynamic and continuously moving. They are also processes.
Places are unbounded. Boundaries may be needed for the purpose of studying such as in the concept of mapping but they are not relevant in the conceptualization of place. Place constitutes the linkage to outside as well. For the concept of invasion of foreigners, a place is associated with penetrability and susceptibility that makes the outsider threatening.
Oil is one of the most fundamental needs of our everyday life. A city is operated by fuels such as oil. It is a source of electricity that allows an industrialized place to function. Countries abundant of oil utilized oil as their major source of capital. Oil resources greatly contribute to a country’s wealth. However, possessing abundant resources of oil pose a great threat to the country itself because they are prone to invasion. Other powerful countries dominate the weaker ones; exploit the resources for their own benefits.
If a country is rich of oil, others will yearn for it. Some will claim that the land possessing the oil resources are their own. This gives us the importance of defining our ‘sense of place’. Although ‘sense of place’ has different meaning, it promotes nationalism and encourages reactionary responses. The politics of access and mobility allow countries to control and maximize the concept of place.
Ackerman, J. (2002). American Promotional Road Mapping in the Twentieth Century. Cartography and Geographic Information Science , 29 (3), 175-191.