Friday, October 26, 2007

How to Lie with Maps

How to Lie with Maps (2nd ed.) by Mark Monmonier, University Of Chicago Press, 1996

I am currently re-reading this book after I read the first edition nearly fifteen years ago, right about the same time I was beginning to collect intersting examples of maps. It is a must-read for map lovers, map makers, and anyone who uses maps for information (that would be everyone...).

From the back of the book:
Originally published to wide acclaim, this lively, cleverly illustrated essay on the use and abuse of maps teaches us how to evaluate maps critically and promotes a healthy skepticism about these easy-to-manipulate models of reality. Monmonier shows that, despite their immense value, maps lie. In fact, they must.

He begins with a tutorial on how all maps must make little "white lies" in order generalize and simplify their information. In later chapters he discusses how maps can and have been used for propoganda, to promote a specific point of view, and to disinform.

As I have said before, I am no expert, but in future posts I plan to bring forward additional and contemporary examples of "how to lie with maps."

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