Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings

By Ken Jennings

It comes as no shock that, as a child, Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings slept with a cumbersome Hammond international atlas by way of his pillow each evening. Maphead recounts his lifelong love affair with geography and explores why maps have continually been so interesting to him and to fellow fans everywhere.

Jennings takes readers on an international journey of geogeeks from the London Map reasonable to the bowels of the Library of Congress, from the prepubescent geniuses on the nationwide Geographic Bee to the pc programmers at Google Earth. every one bankruptcy delves right into a varied element of map tradition: highpointing, geocaching, highway atlas rallying, even the "unreal estate" charted at the maps of fiction and delusion. He additionally considers the ways that cartography has formed our heritage, suggesting that the impulse to make and skim maps is as suitable this day because it has ever been.

From the “Here be dragons” parchment maps of the Age of Discovery to the spinning globes of grade institution to the postmodern revolution of electronic maps and GPS, Maphead is packed with fascinating information, enticing anecdotes, and enlightening research. If you’re an inveterate map lover yourself—or whether you’re one of the cartographically clueless who can wander off in a supermarket—let Ken Jennings be your consultant to the unusual international of mapheads.

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Additional resources for Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks

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Perkins, C. (2009b) ‘Philosophy and mapping’, in R. Kitchin and N. Thrift (eds) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Oxford: Elsevier. Pickles, J. (2004) A History of Spaces: Cartographic Reason, Mapping and the GeoCoded World, London: Routledge. Raisz, E. (1938) General Cartography, New York: McGraw-Hill. H. B. (1976) The Nature of Maps, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. J. C. (1995) Elements of Cartography, 6th edn, New York: Wiley. Schlichtmann, H. (1979) ‘Codes in map communication’, The Canadian Cartographer, 16(1): 81–97.

Huxley introduced the term cline to counteract what he saw as defects in the understanding of geographical distributions: It is in no way intended that specification by clines should replace any of the current taxonomic methods. It would constitute a supplementary method which, it is suggested, would correct certain defects inherent in that of naming areal groups, notably in stressing continuity and regularity of variation as against mere distinctness of groups. (Huxley 1938: 219, emphasis added) Thus, in terms of race: Clines are variations in the intensity of expressions of known hereditary traits over wide geographic regions.

For Ingold, we need to simultaneously understand and value the process cartography of mapping and critique and reform representational modes of cartography. Vincent Del Casino and Stephen Hanna (2005) draw on poststructural theory, and in particular the ideas of Deleuze and Guattari and Judith Butler, to argue that maps are in a constant state of becoming; that they are ‘mobile subjects’ whose meaning emerges through socio-spatial practices of use that mutate with context and is contested and intertextual.

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