Wednesday, January 19, 2011

#442 All Maps Are Lies

This is a very mappy Semester At Sea. I'm a happy guy.

The Global Studies class meets every day.  Attendance is required for all passengers.  And it's taught this semester by Chris Smith, a geographer.  Professor Smith invited me to guest lecture on the first day of class.

My topic: "Using Maps to Interpret the World".

So I introduced "How To Lie With Maps", showed a bunch of lying maps with scale, symbology, and projection issues, screened a West Wing video suggesting the Mercator Projection fosters European Imperialist attitudes, challenged the idea that just because it's on a map it's true, evangelized Geographic Information Systems, promoted cartograms, introduced concepts of spatial thinking, and suggested they pick their Semester At Sea traveling partners wisely to avoid folks with map reading skills like Joey.

Yours in contributing to a very mappy Semester At Sea,


  1. Wow, guest lecture the first day. Pretty impressive. Sounds like a great time so far - Barbie

  2. Nice work, Kelly. Wish I was able to sit in on that class!!!