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Having Faith in Maps: A Values-Based Approach to Mapping
ODTmaps -- Innovative Maps - new ways to see the world ODTmaps -- Innovative Maps - new ways to see the world
Amherst, MA
Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How Maps Change Things
Maps do obvious things: they tell us where in the world we are, and how to get from Point A to Point B. They also invite us to exercise judgment, which brings our human values – our faith – into play.

Ward Kaiser's new book, How Maps Change Things: A Conversation about the Maps We Choose and the World We Want, takes an informed and passionate view of how maps influence the significant paths we humans pursue. It is published by Wood Lake Publications.

Kaiser has long been leading the discussion of what maps mean and their power in framing human activities. Rather than looking for final answers, the author asks thought provoking questions: What does our world, as seen through maps, really look like and what does the viewer's perspective bring to the experience? Are maps a form of "propaganda" for the mapmaker's hidden agenda? Why is there such a difference between the world we experience and the world we want … and why should we care? Kaiser stimulates an impressive and important conversation.

In How Maps Change Things Kaiser makes clear how maps are really about politics and the values we hold. They're about human relations, social justice, war and peace, budgets, and environmental concerns, because the maps we create and use influence (sometimes subtly, sometimes directly) all of these things. He contends that we need to become aware of how we shape and use maps, and how they in turn shape us. Ultimately, it's about becoming aware of the "meaning" behind the maps we use so we can reflect on and begin to create the kind of world we want. Kaiser has broad experience as an ecumenical business executive, pastor, teacher, publisher, and community organizer. He introduced the Peters Projection world map to North America in 1983.

"Maps are verbs" is the author's arrestíng statement at the outset of How Maps Change Things: A Conversation About the Maps We Choose and the World We Want. The book examines maps as change agents, reflecting intentions and setting agendas, often revealing who has power and resources and who has not. He explores the question, "What are the messages maps send?"

The original edition of his book was issued as an ebook by New Internationalist in 2012 on the 500th Birthday of map-maker Gerardus Mercator. Now the enhanced edition will be released as a full-color paperback with a 16-page User's Guide targeted for use by ecumenical and secular groups. The guide is authored by James Taylor, co-founder of the faith-based publishing house, Wood Lake Publications, and former editor of Canada's United Church Observer.

How Maps Change Things is gaining praise from a wide variety of social justice advocates, environmental activists and religious leaders, as well as professional geographers, including Dr. Danny Dorling, Professor of Human Geography at University of Sheffield, who says, "This is not just a book about maps - although it is full of maps - it's about a world view."

Publication Date: July, 2013; paperback format, 9" x 12"

134 pages plus 16-page Study Guide, full color, over 50 maps $31.95

In Canada order from: THIS LINK  In USA order from: THIS LINK  Table of Contents Here

Originally published as an eBook in March 2012 by New Internationalist (Adelaide, Australia) and ODTmaps.com (Amherst, MA)

Author interviews are available from ODTmaps.com 413-549-1293. Media can download the book on-line . Email your request to odtstore@odt.org  Unusual & provocative map images available to media as JPGs or PDFs

From ODT's origins of providing assistance to human resource departments to now offering new and exciting visual representations of the world through unique maps, ODT's mission of honoring differences and teaching people to see the world from a broader, more inclusive perspective remains at the core of all ODT activities.
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Group: manywaystoseetheworld.org
Dateline: Amherst, MA United States
Direct Phone: 413-835-1062
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