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How to Lie with Maps by Mark Monmonier

How to Lie with Maps

by Mark Monmonier

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Fascinating & important subject, told in the most boring voice possible. After the beginning, covering the difference between a globe and a flat projection, I learned a lot. But it was a slog. Does anyone know a better book on the subject? ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Great insight into how maps are inherently deceptive. There are some good reminders about errors due to binning. A bit dated w.r.t. digital maps. ( )
  le.vert.galant | Jan 26, 2015 |
The book begins with the provocative and true statement that all maps lie--because all maps are of necessity simplifications of the things they represent. Mr. Monmonier then explains how to identify, understand, minimize and use the limitations to make more effective use of maps and the rhetorical opportunities they can provide. As the classic "How to Lie with Statistics," "How to Lie with Maps" is essential for anyone who does not wish to be deceived and who wishes to use the subject tools both honestly and effectively. ( )
  paulsikora | Jul 4, 2010 |
Good introduction to the topic, but I already know this stuff, neither as specific nor as contemporary as I had hoped.
  Kaethe | May 27, 2008 |
A worthy successor to the classic How to Lie with Statistics. Monmonier begins by pointing out that all maps, by necessity, tell lies, and proceeds to show us the different techniques of abstraction that can be used effectively to represent the truth-- or subverted to deceive the unwary. Most of the examples are quite clear, though toward the end of the book they begin to become more abstract and less gripping. ( )
  slothman | Mar 29, 2008 |
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(Foreword by H. J. de Blij): As a nations, Americans may not be as geographically literate as they should be, but they are fascinated with maps.
Not only is it easy to lie with maps, it's essential.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0226534219, Paperback)

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.

The second edition is updated with the addition of two new chapters, 10 color plates, and a new foreword by renowned geographer H. J. de Blij. One new chapter examines the role of national interest and cultural values in national mapping organizations, including the United States Geological Survey, while the other explores the new breed of multimedia, computer-based maps.

To show how maps distort, Monmonier introduces basic principles of mapmaking, gives entertaining examples of the misuse of maps in situations from zoning disputes to census reports, and covers all the typical kinds of distortions from deliberate oversimplifications to the misleading use of color.

"Professor Monmonier himself knows how to gain our attention; it is not in fact the lies in maps but their truth, if always approximate and incomplete, that he wants us to admire and use, even to draw for ourselves on the facile screen. His is an artful and funny book, which like any good map, packs plenty in little space."—Scientific American

"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. For that alone, it seems worthwhile."—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

". . . witty examination of how and why maps lie. [The book] conveys an important message about how statistics of any kind can be manipulated. But it also communicates much of the challenge, aesthetic appeal, and sheer fun of maps. Even those who hated geography in grammar school might well find a new enthusiasm for the subject after reading Monmonier's lively and surprising book."—Wilson Library Bulletin

"A reading of this book will leave you much better defended against cheap atlases, shoddy journalism, unscrupulous advertisers, predatory special-interest groups, and others who may use or abuse maps at your expense."—John Van Pelt, Christian Science Monitor

"Monmonier meets his goal admirably. . . . [His] book should be put on every map user's 'must read' list. It is informative and readable . . . a big step forward in helping us to understand how maps can mislead their readers."—Jeffrey S. Murray, Canadian Geographic

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:20 -0400)

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