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Reading Maps

Reading Maps - Kevin Cunningham The tablet and smartphone on the cover led me to believe the book would be mostly about how to use new digital map tools. But it was really a standard overview of technical aspects of cartography, probably mapped directly onto some state content standards for Social Studies. Gads. It would have been cool to have a guide book to all the new and different things you can do with digital cartographic tools.

The book's sole function is lessons on different technical aspects of maps. As such, it doesn't provide much of an aesthetic experience, and the stock photography is corresponding without adding to or enhancing the information. While not all of the information in this book could be found on Wikipedia's "Map" entry, the links are all there. So I don't know why this book needed to be on paper, in four-color, and hard bound. Anyone who wants to know the parts of a map can find it without a book, and I don't know why anyone would seek out a book to answer these easily-searchable questions.

I also find the "A True Book" trademark imprint from Scholastic annoying. Why don't they just say, "Didactic" or "Lesson". Kids like to talk about 'fact books' as a genre, or 'books about real things', so I can see some of the ontology and epistemology Scholastic is trying to play on, but it's misleading. There are some great books out there, such as [b:The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology|25014|The Map That Changed the World William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology|Simon Winchester|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1167571832s/25014.jpg|1413457] that do more to show the the choices and developments of the map as a man-made (hence: fictitious) technology, without trying to package it as "Truth!" (I often like to point out in my literature classes that the etymology of both fact and fiction is the same latin root: facere--to make or do.)