A divide between aesthetic and technical considerations has played a crucial role in mapmaking and cartographic scholarship. Since nineteenth century cartographers, for instance, understood themselves as technicians who did not care about visual effects, while others saw themselves as landscape painters. That dichotomy structured the discipline of the history of cartography. Until the 1980s, in what Blakemore and Harley called "the Old is Beautiful Paradigm," scholars largely focused on maps made before 1800, marveling at their beauty and sometimes regretting the decline of the pre-technical age. Early mapmaking was considered art while modern cartography was located within the realm of engineering utility. Alpers, however, has argued that this boundary would have puzzled mapmakers in the seventeenth century, because they considered themselves to be visual engineers.