What can have rhetoric? Is something given rhetoric simply by the act of trying to convey a message? Can a map have rhetoric? I believe maps can be rhetoric devices through the portrayal given to various land masses. Even maps that are perfectly accurate have distortion, and they have a central point. Where this central point falls gives the viewer an idea as to what is the most important part or parts of the world.
On occasion, what is shown as centralized can be made to be viewed as important and what the world revolves around, however this creates a secondary view with maps such as the mercator projection. This map gives a distorted view of the world in that the centralized points appear to be smaller than those around the extremities. This choice of map was popular during the colonial/imperialistic era, and it was utilized to portray Africa, South America, and Asia as vast, uncivilized areas that were open to European conquer. This projection reinforced the ideas of colonial expansion, and it served to strengthen the racism and white supremacy ideals. Since the mercator projection made Africa look so much larger than Europe, the might of Europe lay in the underdog mentality. If Europe is so small, how did it conquer such a larger foe? It must be superior.
Other maps, such as the Mollweide projection have been used in the past in countries such as the United States of America to de-emphasize the size of other continents in comparison to that of America. When placed over America, the map makes the central part, America, look to be larger than it truly is. Meanwhile, the extremities, in this case, Africa, is devalued, and the size is under-represented. This has been used to attempt to focus American interests inward as opposed to looking to other nations to send aid to them.
Depending on the type of map utilized and the location of the center, maps may be used to convey messages through a very specific, cartographical form of rhetoric.