Maps show place-names that can be plotted, but they also function in other ways. Michel de Certeau writes that “proper names carve out pockets of hidden and familiar meanings. They ‘make sense’ as the impetus of movements, like vocations and calls that turn or divert an itinerary by giving it a meaning (or a direction) that was previously unseen. These names create a nowhere in places, they change them into passages.” Maps show where the Place des Vosges used to be and how to find the hillside park at Buttes-Chaumont. But it is almost as if, in order to function as formal ensembles of abstract places, maps must erase their genesis. From log to itinerary, the history of maps seems to have evolved in the name of science — from recording a route taken in the past to prescribing one to be followed in the future.’
Dudley Andrew and Steven Ungar, Popular Front Paris and the Poetics of Culture (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2005), pp. 292-93.