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You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination Paperback


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Frequently Bought Together

You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination + The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography + Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568984308
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568984308
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Into this seemingly lighthearted 7" 10" look into people's love affairs with maps and mapmaking, Harmon packs some serious intellectual concepts about the human impulse to locate itself in the cosmos. Under the loose and expandable categories of "Personal Geography," "At Home in the World" and "Realms of Fantasy," Harmon presents 50 four-color and 50 b&w cartographical illustrations, including Professor Eugene Turner's smily and frowny faces placed on a map of Los Angeles convey data on the unemployment rates, urban stress and racial composition of individual neighborhoods, putting substantive research in a down-to-earth guise. Ellsworth Kelly's "Fields on a Map (Meschers, Gironde)" pulls an abstract pastoral out of a real place, while Kisaburo Ohara makes an octopus-like Russia seem vividly frightening in "A Humorous Diplomatic Atlas of Europe and Asia." Kim Dingle's collection of variously erroneous maps of the United States drawn by American students are equally thought provoking. Harmon has cannily selected a variety of essays, humorous, personal, analytical: e.g., Bridget Booher's chronological "map" of every injustice done to her body, Roger Sheffer's absorbing analysis of the little maps drawn in the registers of shelters along the Appalachian Trail, and Hugh Brogan's professorial elegy for the fantastical maps that used to be printed in Arthur Ransome's children's books. Purists may dislike the way that illustrations of various maps are not linked directly to the texts; others may find it refreshing, much like the kind of map that makes you expect a new and alluring surprise around every corner. Harmon's intricate and thoughtful selections do indeed prove her point that mapmaking is as diverse and extraordinary a human act as any other.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"...a charming companion for those who prefer to begin their voyages by sitting back and closing their eyes." -- Best Of The Year, Washington Post Book World, December 7, 2003

"...beautiful meditation on mapping..." -- Florida Inside Out, April 2005

"For anyone attracted to maps and for those who need an introduction...an enchanting browse and a constant delight." -- The Calgary Herald, December 13, 2004

"Take a journey into the human psyche with 'You Are Here'...You'll get lost in them before you know it." -- Wired, November 2003

"This is a book to savor, absorb, and return to again and again for ideas and inspiration." -- Scrapbooking – Beyond, April 2005

...a celebration of finding one's place in the universe...an eclectic, thought-provoking meditation. -- San Francisco Bay Guardian, Lit, January 15, 2004

"Harmon has put together an intriguing assaying of map-making as an attempt to understand where we are and where we hope to get- whether it's Winnemucca or Zamboanga, Heaven or Hell." --Reno News & Review, June 23, 2005

"...explores its transcendental territory beautifully, using numerous charts of real and imaginary terrains created by artists, designers, and an assortment of daydreamers." --PRINT, February, 2004

"This colorful compendium of maps -- by artists, children, hikers, and others -- proves even cartography can be creative. Maps from a canine point of view, maps made of sticks or carved in stone, maps of concepts, the human body, and fictional places -- they all make sense in a wonderful way that renders 'up north' and 'down south' thoroughly passe." --Utne Reader, March, 2003

"We read for the great pleasures that even average works bring but also to increase our odds of encountering that rarest of books: the one that cracks our minds open wide with unexpected delights. I came across one of these literary Holy Grails recently: 'You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination', edited by Katharine Harmon (Princeton Architectural Press, $19.95, paper). To describe it as a book of maps would be like calling 'Absalom, Absalom!' just a novel or the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, just a building: not wrong, but not atall right." --Raleigh News & Observer

"You Are Here is one of those books that does not fit into a category that most readers know. . . These maps take you to voyages of the mind, of the subconscious, of the dream world." --Umbrella, December, 2003

"Beautifully printed with hundreds of full-color illustrations, YOU ARE HERE is a loosely-tied-together collection of essays, quotations, and musings about maps that offers no concrete answers to the questions it poses.Instead, it becomes a kind of choose your own adventure for the reader. It asks us to make connections and posit our own theories as we go, unguided by an underlying thesis." --Yale Review of Books, Spring/Summer 2004

"Into this seemingly lighthearted 7"x10" look into people's love affairs with maps and mapmaking, Harmon packs some serious intellectual concepts about the human impulse to locate oneself in the cosmos; the intricate and thoughtful works she presents show mapmaking as diverse and extraordinary a human act as any other." --Publisher's Weekly, November,17,2003

"The relationship between technology and visualization-in essence between mapmaking and the imagination-is made clear as a vast and fertile landscape of possibility. And this, along with Harmon's choice not to expound on this didactically, is the book's real strength." --Graphis, December, 2004

"Katharine...began her pursiut as a hobby, collecting placment maps during a ten-month trip around the U.S. in 1986. Her hobby evolved into a gathering of works of geographical art, adeptly portrayed in YOU ARE HERE... Maps, charts, and art pieces alike share the common emphasis of geographical representation and Katharine Harmon's unique presentation should not be missed." --The Bookwatch, August, 2008

"...a charming companion for those who prefer to begin their voyages by sitting back and closing their eyes." --Washington Post Book World, December 7, 2003

"This collection of artists' maps-subtitled "Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imaginations"-demonstrates our intrinsic need to imagine borders, however ridiculous and inaccurate they may be." --TOKION, January, 2004

". . . a quirky browser's delight . . ." --Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 8, 2004

"Exploration is at the heart of "You Are Here, Katharine Harmon's compendium of "personal geographies," her catch-all term for quirky maps and map-inspired art carrying a strong imprint of the individual who created it. Harmon juxtaposes work by noted artists and designers (Claes Oldenberg, Seymour Chwast) with tickling discoveries by more unlikely candidates." --Newsday, November 30, 2003

More About the Author

Katharine Harmon is an author, editor, and producer of nonfiction books about art, design, science, and other topics that lend themselves to illustration. She is a frequent speaker on the topic of maps in art (and art in maps); her book, You Are Here, is the leading book in Amazon's cartography category.

Forthcoming titles include a book on artists' maps of New York City; an explanatory guide to cold and flu viruses; and a highly visual treatment of measurement systems entitled On a Scale of 1 to 10.

Harmon lives with her husband and daughter in Seattle, Washington, where she keeps bees, enjoys geoduck chowder, and serves as the rules judge for the regional spelling bee.

For more information, go to www.tributarybooks.com.
For those interested in creative cartography, go to the Map as Art page on Facebook.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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My students are loving it as much as I do.
M. Bortolussi
Im cartographer, its very useful for teaching, the book have a lot of examples for understanding the philosophy of a map.
TONATIUH SUAREZ
Trying to describe this book is difficult, so I'll just start by saying it is WONDERFUL.
JAL

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 66 people found the following review helpful By JAL on January 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
Trying to describe this book is difficult, so I'll just start by saying it is WONDERFUL. It's imaginative, thought-provoking, whimsical, intense and unique; if you're hesitating about buying it, be assured that it is well worth the money. On a practical level, it's just packed with fascinating drawings, a full color "map" on most pages, and many double-page color spreads. They range from ancient carvings to wild modern art by people like Adolf Wolfli to computer-generated maps of air routes across Great Britain (which look a bit like Jackson Pollock paintings!) Each map is worth an afternoon of contemplation: maps of heaven and hell, maps of Gilligan's Island, maps of the world seen through the eyes of a New Yorker (or a Californian), two maps (one for a woman's heart, one for a man's) with "Obstacles and Entrances Clearly Marked." Maps of the digestive system and of phrenology systems, roadmaps to success or despair, missionary maps from the 19th century, and lots of maps from famous books such as Gulliver's Travels. Just think of the word "map" as a metaphor for our desire to "locate" ourselves in an interior as well as an exterior way and you'll get the gist of this book. It's really delightful, and you can go back to it again and again. You'll see new details and find new things to think about each time you do.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J. Gochenour on September 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've been buying books for 45 years and this is the most wonderful book I own--amazing, thought-provoking, beautiful. My only regret is that I waited so long to purchase it. As improbable as it sounds, "You Are Here" comes across as what might be the lush, lovely, and totally unlikely synthesis of Bachelard's "The Poetics of Space," the imaginative joy of A.A. Milne ("Winnie the Pooh" and "The House at Pooh Corner," etc.) or P.L. Travers ("Mary Poppins," "Mary Poppins Opens the Door," etc.), and the deep wisdom of place and spirit found in the works of Annie Dillard and Kathleen Norris or even Terry Tempest Williams. When I open "You Are Here," my heart, spirit and imagination invariably soar.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By D. R. Pitts on March 15, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The material is extremely interesting; but the format of the book is too small to really appreciate the material, many of the images are split across the page and impossible to see in detail, and the reproduction of some is poor (Fuzzy, out of focus). Needs to be executed in a larger format with illustrations one per page
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Katherine L. Nesse on April 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book was not what I was expecting but it is interesting nonetheless. It is a collection of (mostly) unconventional maps with a few paragraphs written about each. In addition there are some articles on topics loosely related to cartography and the mind. It is more of a picture book than a reference volume and provides food for thought on mapping and identity.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. R. Palamar on June 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful and thoughtful and visually stunning collection of artist maps. I LOVE it!!! If you're interested in environmental art, it's a must have for your book collection.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Linda Pritchett on June 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
The content of this book is excellent so far--but it's frustrating to try to read the small font. If this book were reprinted with larger font, I'd buy copies for all my friends. I have never encountered such tiny font! That alone keeps me from ordering several copies. My copy is a library book. I had planned to read it, then order my own if I liked it. I would probably get it in Kindle edition, but there's not one. With a Kindle, at least, you can enlarge the font.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ewa Satalecka on November 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amusing collection of different sorts of maps. As well presenting mapping data as resolving problems in visualization of knowledge. Very inspiring for designers, writers and people ordering some information.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Giordano on February 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a great collection of eccentric, unique and brilliant conceptual maps. It is one of those books that will take you places you never imagined.
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