Maps don't present a simple, clear correspondence with the world 'out there', but something much more interesting and revealing--if more difficult to interpret in a straightforward way. They reduce and select from the world, they embellish and enhance it, but they also misrepresent and distort it; and in doing so, they promote particular ways of seeing it.
Over time, as both the makers and users of maps have radically changed, these ways of seeing the world have completely altered, too. In Scotland's case, an examination of the different forms taken by the country in its maps can reveal profound insights not only into Scotland's history, but also into the importance of maps in shaping the image of Scotland as a nation.
On the one hand, Scotland's maps form part of a broader European cultural heritage. Many international themes that also affect other countries--for example, exploration and discovery, military conquest and geopolitical struggles, the commodification of resources and the land, economic globalisation and …