How to Lie with Maps, Third Edition

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

An instant classic when first published in 1991, How to Lie with Maps revealed how the choices mapmakers make—consciously or unconsciously—mean that every map inevitably presents only one of many possible stories about the places it depicts. The principles Mark Monmonier outlined back then remain true today, despite significant technological changes in the making and use of maps. The introduction and spread of digital maps and mapping software, however, have added new wrinkles to the ever-evolving landscape of modern mapmaking.

​Fully updated for the digital age, this new edition of How to Lie with Maps examines the myriad ways that technology offers new opportunities for cartographic mischief, deception, and propaganda. While retaining the same brevity, range, and humor as its predecessors, this third edition includes significant updates throughout as well as new chapters on image maps, prohibitive cartography, and online maps. It also includes an expanded section of color images and an updated list of sources for further reading.
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About the author

Mark Monmonier is Distinguished Professor of Geography at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He is the author of more than twenty books and the editor of volume 6 of the History of Cartography series, published by the University of Chicago Press.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Apr 13, 2018
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780226436081
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Language
English
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Genres
Technology & Engineering / Cartography
Technology & Engineering / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Writers know only too well how long it can take—and how awkward it can be—to describe spatial relationships with words alone. And while a map might not always be worth a thousand words, a good one can help writers communicate an argument or explanation clearly, succinctly, and effectively.

In his acclaimed How to Lie with Maps, Mark Monmonier showed how maps can distort facts. In Mapping it Out: Expository Cartography for the Humanities and Social Sciences, he shows authors and scholars how they can use expository cartography—the visual, two-dimensional organization of information—to heighten the impact of their books and articles.

This concise, practical book is an introduction to the fundamental principles of graphic logic and design, from the basics of scale to the complex mapping of movement or change. Monmonier helps writers and researchers decide when maps are most useful and what formats work best in a wide range of subject areas, from literary criticism to sociology. He demonstrates, for example, various techniques for representing changes and patterns; different typefaces and how they can either clarify or confuse information; and the effectiveness of less traditional map forms, such as visibility base maps, frame-rectangle symbols, and complementary scatterplot designs for conveying complex spatial relationships.

There is also a wealth of practical information on map compilation, cartobibliographies, copyright and permissions, facsimile reproduction, and the evaluation of source materials. Appendixes discuss the benefits and limitations of electronic graphics and pen-and-ink drafting, and how to work with a cartographic illustrator.

Clearly written, and filled with real-world examples, Mapping it Out demystifies mapmaking for anyone writing in the humanities and social sciences.

"A useful guide to a subject most people probably take too much for granted. It shows how map makers translate abstract data into eye-catching cartograms, as they are called. It combats cartographic illiteracy. It fights cartophobia. It may even teach you to find your way."—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
In Rhumb Lines and Map Wars, Mark Monmonier offers an insightful, richly illustrated account of the controversies surrounding Flemish cartographer Gerard Mercator's legacy. He takes us back to 1569, when Mercator announced a clever method of portraying the earth on a flat surface, creating the first projection to take into account the earth's roundness. As Monmonier shows, mariners benefited most from Mercator's projection, which allowed for easy navigation of the high seas with rhumb lines—clear-cut routes with a constant compass bearing—for true direction. But the projection's popularity among nineteenth-century sailors led to its overuse—often in inappropriate, non-navigational ways—for wall maps, world atlases, and geopolitical propaganda.

Because it distorts the proportionate size of countries, the Mercator map was criticized for inflating Europe and North America in a promotion of colonialism. In 1974, German historian Arno Peters proffered his own map, on which countries were ostensibly drawn in true proportion to one another. In the ensuing "map wars" of the 1970s and 1980s, these dueling projections vied for public support—with varying degrees of success.

Widely acclaimed for his accessible, intelligent books on maps and mapping, Monmonier here examines the uses and limitations of one of cartography's most significant innovations. With informed skepticism, he offers insightful interpretations of why well-intentioned clerics and development advocates rallied around the Peters projection, which flagrantly distorted the shape of Third World nations; why journalists covering the controversy ignored alternative world maps and other key issues; and how a few postmodern writers defended the Peters worldview with a self-serving overstatement of the power of maps. Rhumb Lines and Map Wars is vintage Monmonier: historically rich, beautifully written, and fully engaged with the issues of our time.
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