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Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks

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Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks Cover

 

Staff Pick

Ken Jennings's Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks is an intriguing (dare I say, captivating?) look into the realm of maps, geography, and cartophiles. Jennings writes remarkably well, infusing his engrossing subject with a surprising amount of both wit and humor. Each chapter of Maphead offers insight into a different aspect of map lore, from the historical to the hypermodern. Collectors, cartographers, geocachers, fantasy authors, explorers, and geography professors are but some of the many map-connected characters Jennings sought out to include in the book. His own lifelong love affair with all things map-related obviously informed his subject a great deal, and the enthusiasm with which he conveys the book's many anecdotes is quite nearly contagious. With sometimes unbelievable facts and trivia aplenty, it is evident Maphead was well-researched and logically laid out. If you were the type of child who pored over the pages of an atlas, or drew maps of make-believe fantasy islands, or was in any way inclined to geographical pursuits, you'll revel in the liveliness of Ken Jennings's fun and informative book.

There must be something innate about maps, about this one specific way of picturing our world and our relation to it, that charms us, calls to us, won't let us look anywhere else in the room if there's a map on the wall.

Recommended by Jeremy, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

It comes as no surprise that, as a kid, Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings slept with a bulky Hammond world atlas by his pillow every night. Maphead recounts his lifelong love affair with geography and explores why maps have always been so fascinating to him and to fellow enthusiasts everywhere.

Jennings takes readers on a world tour of geogeeks from the London Map Fair to the bowels of the Library of Congress, from the prepubescent geniuses at the National Geographic Bee to the computer programmers at Google Earth. Each chapter delves into a different aspect of map culture: highpointing, geocaching, road atlas rallying, even the "unreal estate" charted on the maps of fiction and fantasy. He also considers the ways in which cartography has shaped our history, suggesting that the impulse to make and read maps is as relevant today as it has ever been.

From the "Here be dragons" parchment maps of the Age of Discovery to the spinning globes of grade school to the postmodern revolution of digital maps and GPS, Maphead is filled with intriguing details, engaging anecdotes, and enlightening analysis. If you're an inveterate map lover yourself — or even if you're among the cartographically clueless who can get lost in a supermarket — let Ken Jennings be your guide to the strange world of mapheads.

Review:

"Maps reveal not just the lay of the land but the imagination of the beholder, according to this charming investigation of the allure of geography. Jeopardy! phenom Jennings (who recently returned to play against IBM's computer, Watson) surveys all manner of charts, from rudimentary animal maps — ants, he notes, navigate by counting their paces, a fact discovered when entomologists had them walk on stilts — to augmented reality maps that let you revise the world. But his main interest is the humans who pore over maps. They are a colorful lot: preteen National Geographic Bee contestants who spend seven hours a day studying atlases; hobbyists intent on visiting every state's maximum elevation; and Tolkienesque fantasists who condense whole imaginary civilizations into a map. Jennings (Brainiac), who admits to being 'a geography wonk' himself, is their bard, and his enthusiasm for everything from bizarre and off-color place names to the mystic intersection points of lines of latitude and longitude is infectious. He's also alive to the larger meaning of maps as they overlay knowledge, desire, and aspiration onto the mute reality of terrain. The result is a delightful mix of lore and reportage that illuminates the longing to know where we are. Illus. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"I admit — I'm a geographic klutz, constantly turned around the wrong way. But I never felt lost for a moment inside Maphead. Forget new worlds: Jennings's charming, witty account reveals a whole other universe." Sam Kean, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Disappearing Spoon

Review:

"Ken Jennings offers an engaging excursion through the worlds of map making, map collecting, and map use. If you enjoy maps, don't miss it." Mark Monmonier, author of How to Lie with Maps

Synopsis:

The real-life answers to Italo Calvinoand#8217;s Invisible Cities, Unruly Places explores the most extraordinary, off-grid, offbeat places on the planet. Alastair Bonnettand#8217;s tour of the planetand#8217;s most unlikely micro-nations, moving villages, secret cities, and no manand#8217;s lands shows us the modern world from surprising new vantage points, bound to inspire urban explorers, off-the-beaten-trail wanderers, and armchair travelers. He connects what we see on maps to whatand#8217;s happening in the world by looking at the places that are hardest to pin down: inaccessible zones, improvised settlements, multiple cities sharing the same space.

Consider Sealand, an abandoned gun platform off the English coast that a British citizen claimed as his own sovereign nation, issuing passports and making his wife a princess. Or Baarle, a patchwork city of Dutch and Flemish enclaves where crossing the street can involve traversing national borders. Or Sandy Island, which appeared on maps well into 2012 despite the fact it never existed. and#12288;

Illustrated with original maps and drawings, Unruly Places gives readers a new way of understanding the places we occupy.

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author and well-known Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings explores the world of maps and map obsessives.

About the Author

Ken Jennings was born outside Seattle, but grew up overseas where he watched Jeopardy! every afternoon. He first appeared on Jeopardy! in June 2004 and continued to win every show until November 30 of that year. In total, Jennings won seventy-four games and $2.52 million, both U.S. game show records. He appeared on shows, from The Late Show with David Letterman to Sesame Street, and Barbara Walters named him one of the ten most fascinating people of the year. Jennings’s book, Brainiac, about his Jeopardy! adventures, was a critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller, as was his  follow-up, Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks. He is also the author of Ken Jennings’s Trivia Almanac. Jennings lives in Washington with his wife Mindy, his son Dylan and daughter Caitlin, and a deeply unstable Labrador retriever named Banjo.

Table of Contents

and#160;and#160;and#160;INTRODUCTIONand#160;and#160;and#160; ix

and#160;and#160;and#160;Lost Spacesand#160;and#160;and#160; 1

Sandy Islandand#160;and#160;and#160; 3

Leningradand#160;and#160;and#160; 8

Arneand#160;and#160;and#160; 12

Old Meccaand#160;and#160;and#160; 15

New Mooreand#160;and#160;and#160; 20

Time Landscapeand#160;and#160;and#160; 24

The Aralqum Desertand#160;and#160;and#160; 28

and#160;and#160;and#160;Hidden Geographiesand#160;and#160;and#160; 35

The Labyrinthand#160;and#160;and#160; 37

Zheleznogorskand#160;and#160;and#160; 42

The Underground Cities of Cappadociaand#160;and#160;and#160; 46

Fox Denand#160;and#160;and#160;51

North Cemetery, Manilaand#160;and#160;and#160; 55

North Sentinel Islandand#160;and#160;and#160; 59

and#160;and#160;and#160;No Manand#8217;s Landsand#160;and#160;and#160;67

Between Border Posts (Guinea and Senegal)and#160;and#160;and#160; 69

Bir Tawiland#160;and#160;and#160; 73

Nahuateriqueand#160;and#160;and#160; 77

Twayil Abu Jarwaland#160;and#160;and#160; 82

Traffic Islandand#160;and#160;and#160; 87

and#160;and#160;and#160;Dead Citiesand#160;and#160;and#160; 93

Wittenoomand#160;and#160;and#160; 95

Kangbashiand#160;and#160;and#160; 100

Kijong-dongand#160;and#160;and#160; 104

Agand#728;damand#160;and#160;and#160; 108

Pripyatand#160;and#160;and#160; 114

The Archaeological Park of Sicilian Incompletionand#160;and#160;and#160;119

and#160;and#160;and#160;Spaces of Exceptionand#160;and#160;and#160; 125

Camp Zeistand#160;and#160;and#160; 127

Geneva Freeportand#160;and#160;and#160; 132

Bright Light, 4 Mures Street, Bucharestand#160;and#160;and#160; 136

International Airspaceand#160;and#160;and#160; 141

Gutterspaceand#160;and#160;and#160; 144

Bountifuland#160;and#160;and#160; 148

Mount Athosand#160;and#160;and#160; 153

Ranch of Sprouts: Brotas Quilomboand#160;and#160;and#160; 158

FARC-controlled Colombiaand#160;and#160;and#160; 163

Hobyoand#160;and#160;and#160; 168

and#160;and#160;and#160;Enclaves and Breakaway Nationsand#160;and#160;and#160; 175

Baarle-Nassau and Baarle-Hertogand#160;and#160;and#160; 177

Chitmahalsand#160;and#160;and#160; 183

Sealandand#160;and#160;and#160; 188

United Kingdom of Lunda Tchokweand#160;and#160;and#160; 193

Gagauziaand#160;and#160;and#160; 198

and#160;and#160;and#160;Floating Islandsand#160;and#160;and#160; 205

Pumice and Trash Islandsand#160;and#160;and#160; 207

Nipterk P-32 Spray Ice Islandand#160;and#160;and#160; 212

The Floating Maldivesand#160;and#160;and#160; 216

The Worldand#160;and#160;and#160; 221

and#160;and#160;and#160;Ephemeral Placesand#160;and#160;and#160; 227

Hogand#8217;s Back Lay-Byand#160;and#160;and#160; 229

LAX Parking Lotand#160;and#160;and#160; 234

Nowhereand#160;and#160;and#160; 238

Staceyand#8217;s Laneand#160;and#160;and#160; 242

and#160;and#160;and#160;CONCLUSIONand#160;and#160;and#160; 247

and#160;and#160;and#160;BIBLIOGRAPHYand#160;and#160;and#160; 252

and#160;and#160;and#160;ACKNOWDLEGMENTSand#160;and#160;and#160; 253

and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;INDEXand#160;and#160;and#160; 254

Product Details

ISBN:
9781439167175
Author:
Jennings, Ken
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
Author:
Bonnett, Alastair
Subject:
General Social Science
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Geography-General
Subject:
geography; google maps; atlas; gps; globe; continents; jeopardy; trivia; mormon; brainiac; geocaching; google earth; cartography; highpointing; latitude; longtitude; map fair; national geographic bee; rand mcnally;
Subject:
Human Geography
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Cloth
Publication Date:
20110931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
10 b/w section openers
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.25 in

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Related Subjects

Engineering » Civil Engineering » Cartography
Featured Titles » Culture
History and Social Science » Geography » General
History and Social Science » Geography » Mapping and Cartography
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Reference » Trivia
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Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks Used Hardcover
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Product details 288 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9781439167175 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Ken Jennings's Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks is an intriguing (dare I say, captivating?) look into the realm of maps, geography, and cartophiles. Jennings writes remarkably well, infusing his engrossing subject with a surprising amount of both wit and humor. Each chapter of Maphead offers insight into a different aspect of map lore, from the historical to the hypermodern. Collectors, cartographers, geocachers, fantasy authors, explorers, and geography professors are but some of the many map-connected characters Jennings sought out to include in the book. His own lifelong love affair with all things map-related obviously informed his subject a great deal, and the enthusiasm with which he conveys the book's many anecdotes is quite nearly contagious. With sometimes unbelievable facts and trivia aplenty, it is evident Maphead was well-researched and logically laid out. If you were the type of child who pored over the pages of an atlas, or drew maps of make-believe fantasy islands, or was in any way inclined to geographical pursuits, you'll revel in the liveliness of Ken Jennings's fun and informative book.

There must be something innate about maps, about this one specific way of picturing our world and our relation to it, that charms us, calls to us, won't let us look anywhere else in the room if there's a map on the wall.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Maps reveal not just the lay of the land but the imagination of the beholder, according to this charming investigation of the allure of geography. Jeopardy! phenom Jennings (who recently returned to play against IBM's computer, Watson) surveys all manner of charts, from rudimentary animal maps — ants, he notes, navigate by counting their paces, a fact discovered when entomologists had them walk on stilts — to augmented reality maps that let you revise the world. But his main interest is the humans who pore over maps. They are a colorful lot: preteen National Geographic Bee contestants who spend seven hours a day studying atlases; hobbyists intent on visiting every state's maximum elevation; and Tolkienesque fantasists who condense whole imaginary civilizations into a map. Jennings (Brainiac), who admits to being 'a geography wonk' himself, is their bard, and his enthusiasm for everything from bizarre and off-color place names to the mystic intersection points of lines of latitude and longitude is infectious. He's also alive to the larger meaning of maps as they overlay knowledge, desire, and aspiration onto the mute reality of terrain. The result is a delightful mix of lore and reportage that illuminates the longing to know where we are. Illus. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "I admit — I'm a geographic klutz, constantly turned around the wrong way. But I never felt lost for a moment inside Maphead. Forget new worlds: Jennings's charming, witty account reveals a whole other universe."
"Review" by , "Ken Jennings offers an engaging excursion through the worlds of map making, map collecting, and map use. If you enjoy maps, don't miss it."
"Synopsis" by ,
The real-life answers to Italo Calvinoand#8217;s Invisible Cities, Unruly Places explores the most extraordinary, off-grid, offbeat places on the planet. Alastair Bonnettand#8217;s tour of the planetand#8217;s most unlikely micro-nations, moving villages, secret cities, and no manand#8217;s lands shows us the modern world from surprising new vantage points, bound to inspire urban explorers, off-the-beaten-trail wanderers, and armchair travelers. He connects what we see on maps to whatand#8217;s happening in the world by looking at the places that are hardest to pin down: inaccessible zones, improvised settlements, multiple cities sharing the same space.

Consider Sealand, an abandoned gun platform off the English coast that a British citizen claimed as his own sovereign nation, issuing passports and making his wife a princess. Or Baarle, a patchwork city of Dutch and Flemish enclaves where crossing the street can involve traversing national borders. Or Sandy Island, which appeared on maps well into 2012 despite the fact it never existed. and#12288;

Illustrated with original maps and drawings, Unruly Places gives readers a new way of understanding the places we occupy.

"Synopsis" by , New York Times bestselling author and well-known Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings explores the world of maps and map obsessives.
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