Annotated Bibliography

I’ve selected most of my cartography books as well as a few others of related interest. Most of them are too old to delve into computer cartography with any validity. Some of these books may have newer editions I’ve not uncovered.

The parts of each book that talk about pre-desktop-publishing graphic arts are still good on theory, you just need to adapt the principles to whatever program you use to farm pixels.

Suggestions for additions to this list are welcome!

The opinions expressed in the annotations below are just that.

Methods of Cartography
Issues in Cartography
Graphic Arts
History of Cartography
Problem Solving and Reference

Methods of Cartography

Elements of Cartography
Robinson, A. H., and Sale, R. D., 3rd edition, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1969
The fundamental textbook for cartographers. The current 6th edition covers everything except current computer technology (as a reviewer on reported). Everything in this book forms a solid understanding of the making of maps.

Principles of Thematic Map Design
Dent, B. P., Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass., 1985
An excellent textbook which makes a good companion to the Elements of Cartography. Strong in traditional graphic arts, with numerous examples of map design.

Map Use
Muehrcke, P. C., 2nd edition, JP Publications, Madison, Wisc., 1986
This book is as much about making maps as using them. Extensive coverage and illustration of many aspects of maps and related information. This is a must-have book. lists a 3rd edition (1992).

Cartographic Design and Production
Keates, J. S., Longman Group, London, 1973
Older British book is strong on photoreproduction and printing processes used in mapmaking. With the advent of digital, printing technology has changed significantly, and it is very important for mapmakers to thoroughly understand the printing process, whether old or new. lists a 2nd edition (July 1989).

Greenhood, D., University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1964
Originally published in 1944, this nuts and bolts examination of cartography’s major themes covers essentials such as coordinates, scale, shape and distance, content, compilation and projections; with excellent black & white line drawings. lists a 1973 edition.

Mapping for Field Scientists
Ritchie, W. et al, A.S. Barnes & Co., Cranbury, N. J., 1977
Basically a short course in mapmaking from ground and aerial survey through cartographic presentation.

Maps and Diagrams
Monkhouse, F. J. and Wilkinson, H. R., Methun & Co., London, 1963
A reference book for statistical cartography. lists a 3rd edition (1971).

Maps for America
Thompson, M. M., 2nd edition, U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, DC, 1981
This is a thorough why and how of topographic and other maps that the USGS publishes. As the function and methods of the USGS change, this book becomes more historical. lists a revised edition (1988).

How Topographic Maps are Made
Tennessee Valley Authority, 6th edition, 1984
Great 1950’s style in this informative 26 p. booklet.


Issues in Cartography

How to Lie with Maps
Monmonier, M. S., University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1991
Like its namesake, How to Lie with Statistics, this book shows how maps can be manipulated to have a bias and therefore persuade. Because a map cannot show everything, it will have an inherent bias, therefore it is up to you to figure it out. This book belongs right next to Trust Us, We're Experts: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles With Your Future by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber. lists a 2nd edition (1996).

Drawing the Line: Tales of Maps and Cartocontroversy
Monmonier, M. S., Henry Holt & Co., New York, 1995
Mr. Monmonier investigates “cartocontroversy”, and most satisfyingly, shreds the Peters projection. Clear and concise writing illustrate geo/cartographic issues both current and historic, building on the concepts of How to Lie with Maps. Much more focused that The Power of Maps below.

The Power of Maps
Wood, D., Guilford Press, New York, 1992
Mr. Wood delves into the inherent bias of maps and mapmakers. He covers a lot of topics, with the central idea that maps are tools but not perfect ones. An entertaining read (and rant), especially when he frequently drops in an ellipsis...for emphasis. I think Mr. Wood likes the Peters projection.

Things Maps Don’t Tell Us

Lobeck, A. K., University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1993
Explanations of map content (and non-content).

Why in the World: Adventures in Geography

Demko, G. J., Doubleday, New York, 1992
A tour of the world through the eyes of the former director of the U.S. Office of the Geographer. Especially strong in geopolitcal issues.


Graphic Arts

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
Envisioning Information
Visual Explanations
Tufte, E. R., Graphics Press, Cheshire, Conn., 1983, 1990, 1997
The defining books about mastering what is relevant in a graphic illustration, and what isn’t. “Don’t hide the data” is one of the basic premises. The books themselves are visually pleasing and clear, and the multitude of illustrations are beautiful as well. This series is similar in it’s survey of various graphic styles to Southworth’s Maps (below). If Mr. Tufte puts out another one, I propose the title be: Qualitative Descriptions Made Visible.

How to Draw Charts and Diagrams
Robertson, B., North Light Books, Cincinnati, 1988
Not specifically about mapmaking, but how to incorporate maps into graphic arts creatively. The stylings are bold and kind of 1960’s and 1970’s. I suppose this book is somewhat the antithesis of Edward Tufte’s views.

Pricing and Ethical Guidelines
Graphic Artists Guild, 7th edition, Graphic Artists Guild, New York, 1991
For the self-employed cartographer (or the head of a firm) this book is about everything that cartographic texts don’t cover: the business. You won’t be drawing maps for a living if you don’t know how much to charge, how to deal with contracts and legal issues, or what involves a professional relationship. lists a 10th edition (2001).

The Graphic Designer’s Handbook
The Mac Designer’s Handbook
Campbell, A., Running Press, Philadelphia, 1983, 1992
Similar books which provide illustrated examples of techniques of graphic arts, and graphic arts as produced on a Mac. Complete with color charts, glossaries and extensive illustrations. The information about printing processes is invaluable in Graphic. I would recommend a newer edition of the Mac book. (not listed on Amazon)

Printing Technology
Adams, J. M., and Faux, D. D., 2nd edition, Breton Publishers, North Scituate, Mass., 1982
Standard textbook, although older, is important to mapmakers for an essential understanding of printing. lists a 5th edition (2001) which covers digital technology in printing.


History of Cartography

Maps: A Visual Survey and Design Guide
Southworth, M. and Southworth, S., New York Graphics Society, New York, 1982
One of the very best map history books because it includes much modern mapmaking and map-related imagery ignored by most. It is a sourcebook for expanding map design horizons. A must-have for a mapmaker’s library. A pity it seems out of print.

The Map Catalog
Makeower, J., Ed, Vintage Books, New York, 1986
Old but still useful survey of all the different kinds of maps available. I doubt that the source addresses included are valid. lists a 3rd edition (1992).

The Mapmakers
Wilford, J. N., Vintage Books, New York, 1982
A thoroughly enjoyable, and informative history of mapmaking and the people who did it. The focus for the first part of the book is on explorers and how maps were one of the results of their work. Later on, Mr. Wilford examines modern cartography. lists a revised edition (2001).

Maps and Man
Thrower, N. J. W., Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1972
A historical review of maps and mapmaking focussing on cartographic methods.

The Mapping of America
Schwartz, S. I., and Ehrenberg, R. E., Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1980
A huge tome tracing mostly the early history of mapping the United States. lists a revised edition (2001).

The History of Topographical Maps: Symbols, Pictures and Surveys
Harvey, P. D. A., Thames and Hudson, London, 1980
An interesting history of the roots of terrain representation.

Maps and Map-Makers
Tooley, R. V., Crown Publishers, New York, 1982
Survey of historic maps from the earliest times to the nineteenth century.

Five Centuries of Map Printing
Woodward, D., Ed, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1975
I love books about how-to. As I sit every day in front of the computers I long for some physical contact in the process. Scribing and darkroom work provided that back in the 1970’s and 1980’s. This book gets into woodcut, copperplate, lithography and other processes. I’ve been thinking about clay tablets lately....


Problem Solving and Reference

The Universal Traveler
Koberg, D, and Bagnall, J., Crisp Publications, Los Altos, Calif, 1991
“A soft-systems guide to creativity, problem solving and the process of reaching goals”. I used this book in my brief stint in architecture school, and have found useful when confronted with sticky design and process problems. The original edition in the early 1970’s had the best illustrations.

Press, F., and Siever, R., W. H. Freeman & Co., 1974
One of the coolest textbooks ever. Nice layout, good illustrations and clear writing make understandable geologic processes which shape our geography. Now called Understanding Earth, it is in its 3rd edition (2001).

Desk Reference
New York Public Library, Websters New World, New York, 1989
All sorts of useful information. lists a 4th edition (2002).

Reference atlases
Many choices here, including Goode’s World Atlas, National Geographic atlases, Rand McNally, and DeLorme amongst hundreds more. Be aware that these are copyrighted works.

English dictionary

Foreign language dictionaries





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