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Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of…

Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks

by Ken Jennings

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7594212,224 (3.91)42
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Mapheads. You know who you are. ( )
  cookierooks | Nov 16, 2016 |
Enjoyable reading on a wide variety of facets of geography, from geography bees to geocaching to country "collectors". The book starts out pretty slowly, in my opinion, but starts gaining steam when the author dives into the world of geography bees. Stick with it, it's worth it in the end. ( )
  tgraettinger | Apr 27, 2016 |
An enjoyable, quick read. ( )
  chasing | Jan 18, 2016 |
This was a surprisingly entertaining, informative and personal book on the value of maps and geography. Almost every form and use of mapping (clubs requiring travel to 100 countries, google maps, geocaching, etc.) is discussed, with lots of interviews and great quotes. I especially enjoyed the chapter on the geography bee and Ken Jenning's intimate feelings throughout. ( )
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
I found Ken Jennings to be a very likeable contestant on Jeopardy and he continues to be very likable in this book. His enthusiasm for geography and the world around him is contagious. While reading this book, I realized how little I know about geography. In one chapter, Jennings is at the National Geography Bee. I couldn’t believe how hard the questions were. I don’t think I could even make an educated guess for most of the questions.

This book also made me appreciate technology more. I always thought that the whole GPS geocaching thing seemed boring, but it sounds so exciting in the book, especially when it leads you to interesting places that you wouldn’t go otherwise. The way Jennings describes in it in the book, it becomes a way to open your eyes to the world around you.

This book is a quick read full of interesting little anecdotes and trivia tidbits. It isn’t a life changing book, but it is a fun read for anyone who likes geography even just a little bit.
( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
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Eighteenth century English essayist Charles Lamb insightfully proclaimed, “Nothing is more important than space and time—yet nothing is less important, because I never think of them.” While geography, the social science discipline most aligned with considerations of spatial relationships over time, was of supreme importance to society in earlier centuries, in recent decades its stature has declined markedly.

Though individuals today enjoy unprecedented choices about their place choices—in which they might live and work, eat and meet and connect, learn and play, shop and travel, exercise, heal and rest, worship and prosper—and contemporary culture, society, and commerce are ever more influenced by what happens in other places, yet people’s knowledge about places is less rather than more.
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My wound is geography. - Pat Conroy
For my parents. And for the kid with the map.
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They say you're not really grown up until you've moved the last box of your stuff out of storage at your parents'. If that's true, I believe I will stay young forever, ageless and carefree as Dorian Gray, while the cardboard at my parents' house molders and fades.
Why did maps mean - why do they still mean, I guess - so much to me? Maps are just a way of organizing information, after all - not normally the kind of thing that spawns obsessive fandom. I've never heard anyone profess any particular love for the Dewey Decimal System. p.11
Falling in love with places is just like falling in love with people: it can happen more than once, but never quite like your first time. p. 15
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Geography geeks,
Map nerds and the maps they love
Wittily profiled
True map geeks unite!

Secret meeting spot hidden

in endnotes. (Joking.)


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It comes as no surprise that, as a kid, Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings slept with a bulky Hammond world atlas by his pillow every night. Maphead recounts his lifelong love affair with geography and explores why maps have always been so fascinating to him and to fellow enthusiasts everywhere. Jennings takes readers on a world tour of geogeeks, from the London Map Fair to the computer programmers at Google Earth. Each chapter delves into a different aspect of map culture: highpointing, geocaching, road atlas rallying, even the "unreal estate" charted on the maps of fiction and fantasy. He also considers the ways in which cartography has shaped our history, suggesting that the impulse to make and read maps is as relevant today as it has ever been.--From publisher description.… (more)

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