Weather maps have made our atmosphere visible, understandable, and at least moderately predictable. In Air Apparent Mark Monmonier traces debates among scientists eager to unravel the enigma of storms and global change, explains strategies for mapping the upper atmosphere and forecasting disaster, and discusses efforts to detect and control air pollution. Fascinating in its scope and detail, Air Apparent makes us take a second look at the weather map, an image that has been, and continues to be, central to our daily lives.
"Clever title, rewarding book. Monmonier . . . offers here a basic course in meteorology, which he presents gracefully by means of a history of weather maps." —Scientific American
"Mark Monmonier is onto a winner with Air Apparent. . . . It is good, accessible science and excellent history. . . . Read it." —Fred Pearce, New Scientist
"[Air Apparent] is a superb first reading for any backyard novice of weather . . . but even the veteran forecaster or researcher will find it engaging and, in some cases, enlightening." —Joe Venuti, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
"Monmonier is solid enough in his discussion of geographic and meteorological information to satisfy the experienced weather watcher. But even if this information were not presented in such a lively and engaging manner, it would still hook most any reader who checks the weather map every morning or who sits happily entranced through a full cycle of forecasts on the Weather Channel."—Michael Kennedy, Boston Globe
For years Mark Monmonier, "a prose stylist of no mean ability or charm" according to the Washington Post, has delighted readers with his insightful understanding of cartography as an art and technology that is both deceptive and revealing. Now he turns his focus to the story of political cartography and the redrawing of congressional districts. His title Bushmanders and Bullwinkles combines gerrymander with the surname of the president who actively tolerated racial gerrymandering and draws attention to the ridiculously shaped congressional districts that evoke the antlers of the moose who shared the cartoon spotlight with Rocky the Flying Squirrel.
Written from the perspective of a cartographer rather than a political scientist, Bushmanders and Bullwinkles examines the political tales maps tell when votes and power are at stake. Monmonier shows how redistricting committees carve out favorable election districts for themselves and their allies; how disgruntled politicians use shape to challenge alleged racial gerrymanders; and how geographic information systems can make reapportionment a controversial process with outrageous products. He also explores controversies over the proper roles of natural boundaries, media maps, census enumeration, and ethnic identity. Raising important questions about Supreme Court decisions in regulating redistricting, Monmonier asks if the focus on form rather than function may be little more than a distraction from larger issues like election reform.
Characterized by the same wit and clarity as Monmonier's previous books, Bushmanders and Bullwinkles is essential background for understanding what might prove the most contentious political debate of the new decade.
No place is perfectly safe, but some places are more dangerous than others. Whether we live on a floodplain or in "Tornado Alley," near a nuclear facility or in a neighborhood poorly lit at night, we all co-exist uneasily with natural and man-made hazards. As Mark Monmonier shows in this entertaining and immensely informative book, maps can tell us a lot about where we can anticipate certain hazards, but they can also be dangerously misleading.
California, for example, takes earthquakes seriously, with a comprehensive program of seismic mapping, whereas Washington has been comparatively lax about earthquakes in Puget Sound. But as the Northridge earthquake in January 1994 demonstrated all too clearly to Californians, even reliable seismic-hazard maps can deceive anyone who misinterprets "known fault-lines" as the only places vulnerable to earthquakes.
Important as it is to predict and prepare for catastrophic natural hazards, more subtle and persistent phenomena such as pollution and crime also pose serious dangers that we have to cope with on a daily basis. Hazard-zone maps highlight these more insidious hazards and raise awareness about them among planners, local officials, and the public.
With the help of many maps illustrating examples from all corners of the United States, Monmonier demonstrates how hazard mapping reflects not just scientific understanding of hazards but also perceptions of risk and how risk can be reduced. Whether you live on a faultline or a coastline, near a toxic waste dump or an EMF-generating power line, you ignore this book's plain-language advice on geographic hazards and how to avoid them at your own peril.
"No one should buy a home, rent an apartment, or even drink the local water without having read this fascinating cartographic alert on the dangers that lurk in our everyday lives. . . . Who has not asked where it is safe to live? Cartographies of Danger provides the answer."—H. J. de Blij, NBC News
"Even if you're not interested in maps, you're almost certainly interested in hazards. And this book is one of the best places I've seen to learn about them in a highly entertaining and informative fashion."—John Casti, New Scientist
In the next century, sea levels are predicted to rise at unprecedented rates, causing flooding around the world, from the islands of Malaysia and the canals of Venice to the coasts of Florida and California. These rising water levels pose serious challenges to all aspects of coastal existence—chiefly economic, residential, and environmental—as well as to the cartographic definition and mapping of coasts. It is this facet of coastal life that Mark Monmonier tackles in Coast Lines. Setting sail on a journey across shifting landscapes, cartographic technology, and climate change, Monmonier reveals that coastlines are as much a set of ideas, assumptions, and societal beliefs as they are solid black lines on maps.
Whether for sailing charts or property maps, Monmonier shows, coastlines challenge mapmakers to capture on paper a highly irregular land-water boundary perturbed by tides and storms and complicated by rocks, wrecks, and shoals. Coast Lines is peppered with captivating anecdotes about the frustrating effort to expunge fictitious islands from nautical charts, the tricky measurement of a coastline’s length, and the contentious notions of beachfront property and public access.
Combing maritime history and the history of technology, Coast Lines charts the historical progression from offshore sketches to satellite images and explores the societal impact of coastal cartography on everything from global warming to homeland security. Returning to the form of his celebrated Air Apparent, Monmonier ably renders the topic of coastal cartography accessible to both general readers and historians of science, technology, and maritime studies. In the post-Katrina era, when the map of entire regions can be redrawn by a single natural event, the issues he raises are more important than ever.
Brassiere Hills, Alaska. Mollys Nipple, Utah. Outhouse Draw, Nevada. In the early twentieth century, it was common for towns and geographical features to have salacious, bawdy, and even derogatory names. In the age before political correctness, mapmakers readily accepted any local preference for place names, prizing accurate representation over standards of decorum. Thus, summits such as Squaw Tit—which towered above valleys in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and California—found their way into the cartographic annals. Later, when sanctions prohibited local use of racially, ethnically, and scatalogically offensive toponyms, town names like Jap Valley, California, were erased from the national and cultural map forever.
From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow probes this little-known chapter in American cartographic history by considering the intersecting efforts to computerize mapmaking, standardize geographic names, and respond to public concern over ethnically offensive appellations. Interweaving cartographic history with tales of politics and power, celebrated geographer Mark Monmonier locates his story within the past and present struggles of mapmakers to create an orderly process for naming that avoids confusion, preserves history, and serves different political aims. Anchored by a diverse selection of naming controversies—in the United States, Canada, Cyprus, Israel, Palestine, and Antarctica; on the ocean floor and the surface of the moon; and in other parts of our solar system—From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow richly reveals the map’s role as a mediated portrait of the cultural landscape. And unlike other books that consider place names, this is the first to reflect on both the real cartographic and political imbroglios they engender.
From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow is Mark Monmonier at his finest: a learned analysis of a timely and controversial subject rendered accessible—and even entertaining—to the general reader.
For more than thirty years, the History of Cartography Project has charted the course for scholarship on cartography, bringing together research from a variety of disciplines on the creation, dissemination, and use of maps. Volume 6, Cartography in the Twentieth Century, continues this tradition with a groundbreaking survey of the century just ended and a new full-color, encyclopedic format.
The twentieth century is a pivotal period in map history. The transition from paper to digital formats led to previously unimaginable dynamic and interactive maps. Geographic information systems radically altered cartographic institutions and reduced the skill required to create maps. Satellite positioning and mobile communications revolutionized wayfinding. Mapping evolved as an important tool for coping with complexity, organizing knowledge, and influencing public opinion in all parts of the globe and at all levels of society. Volume 6 covers these changes comprehensively, while thoroughly demonstrating the far-reaching effects of maps on science, technology, and society—and vice versa.
The lavishly produced volume includes more than five hundred articles accompanied by more than a thousand images. Hundreds of expert contributors provide both original research, often based on their own participation in the developments they describe, and interpretations of larger trends in cartography. Designed for use by both scholars and the general public, this definitive volume is a reference work of first resort for all who study and love maps.
How to Lie with Maps
Mark Monmonier University of Chicago Press, 1996 Library of Congress G108.7.M66 1996 | Dewey Decimal 526
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
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.
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
Maps with the News is a lively assessment of the role of cartography in American journalism. Tracing the use of maps in American news reporting from the eighteenth century to the 1980s, Mark Monmonier explores why and how journalistic maps have achieved such importance.
"A most welcome and thorough investigation of a neglected aspect of both the history of cartography and modern cartographic practice."—Mapline
"A well-written, scholarly treatment of journalistic cartography. . . . It is well researched, thoroughly indexed and referenced . . . amply illustrated."—Judith A. Tyner, Imago Mundi
"There is little doubt that Maps with the News should be part of the training and on the desks of all those concerned with producing maps for mass consumption, and also on the bookshelves of all journalists, graphic artists, historians of cartography, and geographic educators."—W. G. V. Balchin, Geographical Journal
"A definitive work on journalistic cartography."—Virginia Chipperfield, Society of University Cartographers Bulletin
Some maps help us find our way; others restrict where we go and what we do. These maps control behavior, regulating activities from flying to fishing, prohibiting students from one part of town from being schooled on the other, and banishing certain individuals and industries to the periphery. This restrictive cartography has boomed in recent decades as governments seek regulate activities as diverse as hiking, building a residence, opening a store, locating a chemical plant, or painting your house anything but regulation colors. It is this aspect of mapping—its power to prohibit—that celebrated geographer Mark Monmonier tackles in No Dig, No Fly, No Go.
Rooted in ancient Egypt’s need to reestablish property boundaries following the annual retreat of the Nile’s floodwaters, restrictive mapping has been indispensable in settling the American West, claiming slices of Antarctica, protecting fragile ocean fisheries, and keeping sex offenders away from playgrounds. But it has also been used for opprobrium: during one of the darkest moments in American history, cartographic exclusion orders helped send thousands of Japanese Americans to remote detention camps. Tracing the power of prohibitive mapping at multiple levels—from regional to international—and multiple dimensions—from property to cyberspace—Monmonier demonstrates how much boundaries influence our experience—from homeownership and voting to taxation and airline travel. A worthy successor to his critically acclaimed How to Lie with Maps, the book is replete with all of the hallmarks of a Monmonier classic, including the wry observations and witty humor.
In the end, Monmonier looks far beyond the lines on the page to observe that mapped boundaries, however persuasive their appearance, are not always as permanent and impermeable as their cartographic lines might suggest. Written for anyone who votes, owns a home, or aspires to be an informed citizen, No Dig, No Fly. No Go will change the way we look at maps forever.
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.
Maps, as we know, help us find our way around. But they're also powerful tools for someone hoping to find you. Widely available in electronic and paper formats, maps offer revealing insights into our movements and activities, even our likes and dislikes. In Spying with Maps, the "mapmatician" Mark Monmonier looks at the increased use of geographic data, satellite imagery, and location tracking across a wide range of fields such as military intelligence, law enforcement, market research, and traffic engineering. Could these diverse forms of geographic monitoring, he asks, lead to grave consequences for society? To assess this very real threat, he explains how geospatial technology works, what it can reveal, who uses it, and to what effect.
Despite our apprehension about surveillance technology, Spying with Maps is not a jeremiad, crammed with dire warnings about eyes in the sky and invasive tracking. Monmonier's approach encompasses both skepticism and the acknowledgment that geospatial technology brings with it unprecedented benefits to governments, institutions, and individuals, especially in an era of asymmetric warfare and bioterrorism. Monmonier frames his explanations of what this new technology is and how it works with the question of whether locational privacy is a fundamental right. Does the right to be left alone include not letting Big Brother (or a legion of Little Brothers) know where we are or where we've been? What sacrifices must we make for homeland security and open government?
With his usual wit and clarity, Monmonier offers readers an engaging, even-handed introduction to the dark side of the new technology that surrounds us—from traffic cameras and weather satellites to personal GPS devices and wireless communications.