The New England Orienteering Club

by Peter Amram

Mark Monmonier, a professor at Syracuse University, is the author of the 1994 Drawing the Line, tales of maps and cartocontroversy. Prominent among the cartocontroveries are the Vinland Map, a fraud which purports to show pre-Columbian discoveries in the New World, and the Peters Projection, a misleading, politically-correct attempt to show the ‘true’ size of non-European countries. Many maps, Monmonier suggests, are best approached with suspicion. 

“As powerful tools of persuasion in science and public affairs, maps have had a remarkable effect on our view of the world, our health, and the impact of our votes. At the root of their power is our frequently unquestioning acceptance of cartographic messages. Even folk who are routinely suspicious of written text equate maps with fact and fail to realize that no map is capable of including all information or telling all possible stories. In fact, the process of mapmaking requires cartographers to limit content in order to create a readable map and so allows them to manipulate their audience with the information they choose to include. This combination of power and subjectivity has repeatedly put maps at the center of controversy.” 

Now, hold on a minute here. Do you mean to say ....

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