The Power of Maps

Front Cover
Guilford Press, Jan 1, 1992 - Social Science - 248 pages
8 Reviews
The author shows how maps are made to appear as unbiased reference objects, though they actually depict, like a photograph, a subjective point of view.
He discusses the signs and myths inherent in maps and suggests ways to decode the interests implicit in their representation.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JenneB - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed this--the sociology and semiotics of maps was not something I every really thought about before. The guy's writing style is kind of entertaining--he has this habit of using a lot of ellipses and. . .italics. Which gives you the impression that he is deeply. . .stoned. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lisapeet - LibraryThing

Mapping philosophy with a twist of curmudgeonliness, parsing cartography from the top down: the power structure, the agendas, the symbology, the unstated. You get a healthy dose of mapmaking semiotics ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Introduction
1
Maps Work by Serving Interests
4
Maps Make the Past and Future Present
7
Maps Link the Territory with What Comes with It
10
Maps Enable Our Living
12
One Map Use Many Ways of Living
16
Maps Construct Not Reproduce the World
17
Every Map Has an Author a Subject a Theme
22
The Interest Is Embodied in the Map in Signs and Myths
95
Legends
96
Myths
101
Codes
108
Ten Cartographic Codes
111
Intrasignification
116
Iconic Codes
117
Linguistic Codes
122

Suspended Between Faith and Doubt
26
Maps Are Embedded in a History They Help Construct
28
Maps Themselves Dont Grow or Develop
30
But Mapping and Mapmaking Do
32
To Live MapImmersed in the World
34
Some Societies Are Bigger Than Others
38
Some Societies Are More Developed
39
Our Histories Entwined Are Different
42
Every Map Shows This But Not That
48
The Dividing Up of the Reality
51
The Code Between the Object and Its Image
54
The Mathematical Transformation of the Object
56
Night and Day You Are the One
61
Blue Skies Shining On Me
63
What Is the Map For?
64
The Interest the Map Serves Is Masked
70
The Naturalization of the Cultural
76
The Culturalization of Natural
78
The Wanaque Topographic Quadrangle
79
Shows Only Selected Features
81
The Wanaque Quadrangle Only Shows Cheap Features
84
Cheap Maps Are Silent
85
Legible Features on the Wanaque Quadrangle
87
What Are We Looking for in New Jersey?
89
Suddenly the Map Looks Different
91
Tectonic Codes
124
Temporal Codes
125
Presentational Codes
130
Sign Functions
132
Elemental Signs
133
Sign Systems
137
Synthesis
138
Presentation
140
Each Sign Has a History
143
A Brief History of the Hillsign
145
Hillsigning Among Contemporary Americans
154
The Sequence in Which Children Acquire Hillsigns Parallels That in Which They Were Acquired in Our History of Mapmaking
158
The Mastery of Millsigning in Contemporary Kids
159
The Hillsigning of the Contemporary Child in Context
171
The Development of Hillsigns
173
Hillsigns of the Future
178
The Interest the Map Serves Can Be Yours
182
Anybody Can Make a Map
184
Maps Are Moments in the Process of DecisionMaking
185
Maps Are Heavy Responsibilities
188
Maps Empower By Working
192
NOTES
196
INDEX
243
Copyright

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About the author (1992)

DENIS WOOD, an independent writer and geographer based in Raleigh, North Carolina, was a distinguished professor of design at North Carolina State University from 1974 to 1998. His many acclaimed and influential books include "The Power of Maps", which was a History Book Club and a Quality Paperback Book Club selection, "Rethinking the Power of Maps" with John Fels and John Krygier, "Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas, Five Billion Years of Global Change: A History of the Land", and the classic, "Home Rules", with Robert Beck.

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