Star Maps pp 291-320 | Cite as

The transition to non-pictorial star maps

  • Nick Kanas
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


It is rare to find constellation images in modern-day star atlases. Sometimes, lines are drawn connecting major stars to produce stick-figure representations of the constellations. In other cases, there are no representations, just boundary lines drawn around the area of the sky assigned to the constellation. Practically, such atlases are much more advanced, showing stars and deep-sky objects beyond naked eye visibility whose positions have been computer-generated with great accuracy and located in a coordinate system that is current and very precise. Aesthetically, however, much has been lost in terms of artistry and mythology. But then, shouldn’t the major purpose of a star map be to accurately map the heavens? Of course, it has always been this way. It is just that what made previous maps appealing were their anthropomorphic and historic qualities (which in past times were relevant to their mapping function), but such features are now just seen as so much unnecessary superficial clutter.


Lunar Phasis Stellar Magnitude Outer Disk Star Image Color Section 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Praxis Publishing Ltd, Chichester, UK 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nick Kanas
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

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