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Seeing Through Maps: The Power of Images to Shape Our World View Paperback – September 15, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-1931057004 ISBN-10: 1931057001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: O D T Inc (September 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931057001
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931057004
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,502,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ward Kaiser has been a publisher, ecumenical executive, pastor, teacher, and community organizer. He introduced the Peters Projection world map to North America, publishing its first English-language version in 1983. His handbook to that map, A New View of the World, "the most effective piece of writing that has come out concerning the Peters Projection," is widely used by educators and social activists.

National Public Radio, NBC-TV, CBC-Radio and -Television as well as many local media outlets in Canada and the United States have had Kaiser as a guest. He has lectured extensively at colleges and universities and led worldview workshops and professional development seminars. He has translated several works in cartography into English. Even while "retired," he maintains a busy schedule of lecturing and writing. He may be reached at newmapper@aol.com.

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Featured on Ira Glass's This American Life, Denis Wood is one of America's best-loved experts on the significance and meaning of maps. Wood loves maps and loves to talk about them. Besides Seeing Through Maps, Wood is the author of the best-selling The Power of Maps. He also curated the award-winning exhibition of maps at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in 1992, and its even more popular incarnation at the Smithsonian in Washington the year after.

A writer/artist, Wood is also a social scientist. He has published over 60 articles in a variety of journals that ranges from Industrialization Forum to The Journal of Environmental Psychology. During the '70s, Wood co-authored the best-selling World Geography Today, and in the '90s the respected Home Rules. His Five Billion Years of Global Change will be published by Guilford Press.

Dr. Wood earned his Ph.D. and Masters in geography from Clark University, among the most highly regarded geography programs in the country. His undergraduate degree, in English, is from Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio, where Wood grew up. From 1996 to 1998 Wood served two years in prison. Wood's book about that experience, Soft Time in a Hard Place, was commissioned by John Hopkins University Press. It will be published in 2002.

He has lectured around the world. In 1995 he keynoted the annual meeting of the North American Cartographic Information Society. His consulting clients have ranged from Esselte Map Services and Maple Lake Sports Camps to Merrill Lynch and Manufacturers Hanover Trust .


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jason Mierek on December 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
I still remember the first time I saw the McArthur's Universal Corrective Map of the World, the "upside-down" map with Australia at its center. It was 15 or so years ago, in a down-under exhibit at Brookfield Zoo. The experience of seeing "north" and "south" disconnected from their habitual, yet arbitrary, association with "up" and "down" was at once discomfitting and exhilating. I saw THROUGH the map, and grokked one assumption upon which standard Mercator projection was based.

A textbook of sorts, this was apparently written for bright junior high and high school students. The book's ambivalent title, Seeing Through Maps, is apt because the book is about both seeing through (i.e., USING) maps and seeing THROUGH the map itself to the assumptions that frame it. "Understanding that every map is a projection that gives up some aspect of global reality in order to present what it shows---and that is otherwise endlessly selective---should free you to see through the connotations to the denotative maps that support them. And so in turn be able to scrutinize the connotations. Understanding that every map has a point of view and serves a purpose should free you to take the point of view that serves your interest." (p. 79)

Yet for all this talk about maps, the book is not a study in the practice of cartography. Rather, it is an exploration of the practice of representation in general, an exploration which can evoke profound cognitive dissonance. Consequently, the book also exhorts the reader to adapt a sense of "model agnosticism" when it comes to using maps/metaphors/representations, because no single perspective or position can be total or comprehensive, by definition. The authors repeatedly expound on this main theme of the book:

"Each view excludes another.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this title, whether you are or are not a map enthusiast. The book is easy to follow for anyone with at least a junior high school education, and informative, even if you are a college graduate. It will give you a new appreciation of maps and their important role in our history and our world today. This is the type of book that will make you a "map geek" even if you never really thought that much about the subject before you picked up the book.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ilene Fauer and Corey Fauer on May 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
As librarians in Bergen County, N.J., we highly recommend "Seeing Through Maps" for all library collections. This a wonderfully illustrated, interestingly written book. It is especially good for the young adult collection as it is accurate, clear and attractively laid out. Young adults coming into the library find it easily understood and packed full of information. This book would be very helpful in both public and school libraries.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Gardner on December 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book will really help you to appreciate maps and their use through out history. Easily understood and very well written. This is must read for anyone who is even slightly interesred in maps.
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