Today’s Old School Geo-Reading

I was thinking about map projections earlier today and I wanted to reference a couple ideas against something other than what I could find through Google. I dug out my copy of the 5th edition of Elements of Cartography by Robinson, Sale, Morrison, and Muehrcke (1989) and I found my answer (when was the last time you used a book’s index?).


This book came into my possession during my undergrad years when I found it in a pile of books that a retiring geography professor was sending to the recycling bin.  I also have a 1st edition copy (acquired at the same time as the 5th edition), but that’s on my bookcase at work, next to my copy of David Harvey’s Explanation in Geography and Mark Monmonier’s How to Lie with Maps.

In today’s world of point and click cartography it’s nice to know that geo-visualization has always been deeply rooted in theory and science.  If you can find a copy of this book, at any edition, check it out.  I believe the way we think of, and use maps, has really changed since the rise of GMaps.  Reading through a classic book like lets you appreciate what truly goes into building an effective and beautiful map.