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Rhumb Lines and Map WarsA Social History of the Mercator Projection$
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Mark Monmonier

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780226534312

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226534329.001.0001

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Rhumb Lines and Map Wars
University of Chicago Press

Academic cartographers who might have endorsed the map's political message challenged the projection's appearance and purported advantages. Relief organizations and other pro-Third World groups worldwide began using the Peters map in their own publications or giving huge numbers of wall-size copies to schools and churches. Academic cartographers who might have been mildly amused by Peters's 1973 posturing were outraged and embarrassed by his assault on their credibility. A population cartogram can make a strong ideological statement, especially if fairness to all people is more important than fairness to all acres. In 1990, the Peters map became an emblem of diversity awareness, marketed as the cornerstone of a catholic cartography in which dissimilar images of the world promote cultural sensitivity.

Keywords:   cartographers, Peters map, credibility, population cartogram, catholic cartography

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