Esri has published Map Use: Reading, Analysis, Interpretation, eighth edition. Esri president Jack Dangermond called the 650-page textbook “a comprehensive primer for using maps effectively.” Map Use teaches what maps are; the types available; what they portray; the purposes they serve; and how to read, analyze, and interpret them. A chapter on map design basics was added to deepen readers’ understanding of what goes into making a well-crafted map. “If you understand how a map is made, you will better understand how to use it,” said Map Use coauthor Aileen R. Buckley, a research cartographer at Esri.
While written mainly for students enrolled in college-level cartography or map use courses, the book also serves as an excellent resource for cartographers and professionals who work with geographic information system (GIS) technology, remote sensing, and imagery. People who use maps for scientific research, navigation, and recreation will also find Map Use to be a perfect go-to reference.
“A lot of people work with maps every day, but they don’t necessarily know how to use them in as rich a way that they can be used,” Buckley said. “Reading a map is probably the most common use of maps. You look at a map, you read the content off it, and you learn something new. But maps can also be analyzed. You can make measurements and calculate statistics using information that’s on maps.”Today, that analysis is often done using GIS. “While the focus in past editions was on using paper maps to do analysis, this edition focuses on mapping information using digital analysis, primarily through GIS,” Buckley said.
Illustrated with nearly 600 full-color maps, photographs, and graphics, Map Use was updated to reflect the latest mapping technology, techniques, and terminology. It is divided into three major sections: Map reading, map analysis, and map interpretation. Chapters cover topics such as the following:
- The earth and earth coordinates
- Map scale
- Map projections
- Grid coordinate systems
- Quantitative and qualitative thematic maps
- Relief portrayal
- Image maps
- Direction finding and compasses
- Spatial feature and pattern analysis
- Interpretation of the lithosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and human landscape
The new chapter on map design basics explains how to define the map’s audience and theme, craft a clear and concise message, choose the right map projection, use proper symbolization, make the map legible, use color effectively, and design maps for the web. “I think readers will appreciate the chapter on map design, replete with illustrations of both well- and poorly designed maps, intentionally created to show the difference between good and poor design,” said Map Use coauthor A. Jon Kimerling, professor emeritus of geosciences at Oregon State University in Corvallis.
The book includes a well-sourced, 44-page glossary that reflects the latest terminology in mapping, cartography, spatial analysis, imaging, land surveying, instrumentation, and the mapping community. Additional co-authors of the book were Phillip C. Muehrcke, professor emeritus of geography at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Juliana O. Muehrcke, founding editor of the journal Nonprofit World.