You are right, when I explain cartography to students, the first paragraph is about the origin of cartography, and what I say is just that, initially... distance and direction .. and a story of graphics about landmarks that voyagers can identify. what next in history? well go to the sea or desert where there are no landmarks...so... we used astronomy to identify position based in sun and well known stars... next problem ? time... to know "longitude" or sun and stars position in W-E movents... and there we go in history to actual scientiphic cartography...
The pretty thing about maps or plans, in 2D or in 3D is that if they are correctly done in their "angle and measurements" they can be correctly re-interpreted onto new " projections. Indpendently of what the cartographer or artist can provide to make a more pleasure view.
I mean, a practical example... if you take an ancient map, i.e: XIV century, and try to georreference it in arcgis, you will see that main continental Europe's coast will fit onto actual Eurpoe's coast with a second degree adjustment. And if you use a Spline one, it will fit better. But you will also notice that "bad known" zones will never fit, and that inside land cities will not fit as well as coast. The use of those maps was to navigate in sea... but they are wonderfuly ilustrated and described in land areas, so you can arrive Paris from Berlin seeing illustrated descriptions, roads, having an idea of distances and landmarks. The coast is more perfect "mathematically" than land.
And , i.e: the Museo del Prado drawing , or the Las Vegas one is indeed "manipulated" in the prespective to achieve a more pleasant view for the observer... but the prorportions dont chage in the whole.
We can make accurate maps (topographic, etc..) or artistic maps, but what differentiates a cartographer from an illustrator is mainly that we try to maintain certain rules that meke the map "readable" and with use.
Sorry for the long reply
Yes...wonderful discussion! Thanks for participating.
One of my frustrations with most of current mainstream cartography (a chip on my shoulder that I sometimes let cloud my vision or judgment...and/or let escape my mouth, making me a bull in a china shop and angering some people and/or bruising a few egos) is the whole idea that numeric distance and direction (N/S/E/W) is the "correct," "educated" or "proper" way of measuring space.
Take that oblique view of the building from your link (attached). Why is someone saying "the fourth window to the left of the marble columns on the first floor" an invalid or inferior unit of measurement when it comes to the concept of a map? "West" or "15 meters" was never mentioned in the course of that brief set of directions...but for (in my estimation) about 50% of the population, that's how their brains are wired. Yet for the other 50% of the population, where most modern cartographers seem to fall on this issue, it's "not a map" because there's no scale, distances or North arrow.
My question is why. Up until a few decades ago, only the VERY few in our world navigated via distance. When Columbus found the New World, did his GPS unit get him here, or did the sun and the stars in the night sky? When the pioneers settled the Western United States, did they get where they were going via units of measurement, or did they navigate landmark to landmark?
It is the most fascinating topic related to cartography and map design on this planet to me...and one that I continue to try and really think through and explore when I'm not TOO busy trying to pay the bills. Sorry for the long reply.