on May 9, 2003
For those who simply like maps, here is a quick response to "The Power of Maps": DO NOT bother reading this book! The writing is poor. The book is riddled with errors (the chapter on Tom Van Sant's beautiful, global satellite image map is particularly bad in this regard). Very few actual maps are included, and they are reprinted in an ugly, unreadable small black & white format. Worst of all, the author doesn't really have anything to say about the power OR beauty of maps, or about what makes a map elegant, eloquent, or useful.
Like so many ivory-tower deconstructionists, Wood's primary focus seems to be on the manipulation of language as a weapon against his own subject - in this case, cartography. As one who loves maps, and works with them professionally, I wouldn't have thought it would be possible to write about them in such an insipid, uninteresting, and unenlightening way. Don't waste your time or your money on this book!