The Bitmap is the Territory: How Digital Formats Render Global Positions

Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Digital rendering realizes a form of planetary addressability pervading screens and global GPS alike, by which a classical “scene of writing” is subsumed by a modern “scene of technical standards.” The rise of computer graphics from wartime mapping techniques and their development alongside techniques such as the global positioning system reflects an imperative to integrate vision, space, and computation around a contingent but non-fortuitous common program of spatial calculability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1113
Number of pages21
JournalMLN - Modern Language Notes
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • bitmap
  • digital images
  • media theory
  • computer graphics
  • media history


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