Reader Comments

A tour de force, from the mapping of Iraq as a set of oil wells, through Mercator’s love of Germany, first nation Canadians’ and current Palestinians’ land rights, … to calls for an end to borders, bigotry, disease and war. This is not just a book about maps, although it's full of maps - it’s about a worldview.
     --Dr. Danny Dorling, Professor of Human Geography, University of Sheffield and author of The No-Nonsense Guide to Equality

Very thought provoking, easily-understood by non-geographers, and timely. Bravo!!
     Dr. Joseph J. Kerski, Education Manager, Esri,  Broomfield CO and current president of the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE).

The time has come for our nation’s educators to provide strong geography curriculums and How Maps Change Things by Ward L. Kaiser seems to be one of the first excellent resources.  The book has the potential to benefit college and university teacher education programs, as well as middle and high schools across the USA.  This ebook is clearly written with thought provoking illustrations.  ... How Maps Change Things would actually be fun to teach in a 6th or 9th grade social studies, a high school economics, a teacher education methods course and a multicultural literacy course.  It is a versatile text that has a readability level for easy comprehension and retention.  I highly recommend it  to anyone interested in our world and our place in it.
     --Dr. Patricia Ruggiano Schmidt, Le Moyne College Literacy Professor Emerita

At last!!  Somebody has put into print what we've heard 'snipets' and 'rumors' of before - "that the map we tend to use isn't the way things look!"   But the author does it, not only with insight - he helps us everyday folks understand it ourselves!   … written in everyday, down-to-earth language that nearly all of us can understand and explain it to others!  Anyone who takes the time to read this book - or even parts of it - can suddenly sound like a genius... an expert... on distinguishing maps and both, how they are to be used and how they shouldn't be used. 
     --Gerald Robison, VP-Unveiling GLORY

An exciting book! I appreciate the strong awareness of social issues throughout it.  Kaiser’s telling the story of the Peters Map, and making the case for social justice via equal area maps is well done. The wide use of various map projections and map examples is effective in carrying the case forward.
     --The Rev. Arthur Bauer, advocate for equal area maps

This fascinating book from Ward Kaiser challenges our perception of World mapping, and is a timely commentary in a period in our history when location-based information is increasing day by day.  With a well-constructed and informative text, peppered with interesting anecdotes and illustrations, this is a book for everyone interested in mapping, from the amateur map devotee to the professional cartographer. 
     --Penny Watson, Oxford Cartographers
A wonderful distillation of your many years' thought about maps and everything that revolves round them. The writing is well honed and makes the book very readable … deserving of a wide circulation.
    --Terry Hardaker, former chief cartographer, Oxford Cartographers

I especially liked your discussion of the Mercator Projection.  All too often proponents of the Peters projection present the Mercator concept as nothing more than a Northern Capitalist plot to promote their own agenda....whereas as you point out, it serves a very useful purpose (in fact vital for early mariners).  The distortions are unfortunate and most of us have been misinformed by the spacial distortions, but if I were out at sea trying to find my way home, I certainly wouldn't want a Peters projection.  
     --Tom Wilson, Geography Teacher at Waldorf High Schools in Viroqua, WI and Prien, Germany.

How Maps Change Things is a critical resource for people to understand the power of maps to influence how we look at each other across the table and across the globe. For those of us trying to make the world a better place, this book is a critical tool for understanding how we all look at it now and how we all want it to look in the future.
      --Craig Wiesner, Progressive activist and co-founder of

ABSOLUTELY outstanding! It is SO easy to understand, precise, straight, fascinating. Further, such an awesome easy to use, lively resource for use in education - with the questions at the end of the chapters! What an amazing dazzling kaleidoscope of map knowledge… ripe and fascinating for ALL audiences across languages, cultures, ages, professions because it includes powerful content and easy to read, illustrated, kicking examples. The personal tone is engaging, while being in balance on different cultural approaches... and it is sooo elegantly tuned. I am going to add this to our teaching tool resources.
      --Eric Schneider, Youth Leader Magazine, UNESCO status, Germany, www.youth-leader

This book, as fascinating as it is informative and important, is for beginners as well as those who already have an interest in and understanding of the advantages and limitations of maps.  Here is an excellent opportunity to gain genuine insight into the processes and the results of mapping..
     --Ed Peck, former US Ambassador to Iraq

Those who practice media literacy know that media are not just maps of the world, but prescribe how to act in the world. How wonderful, then, that Ward L. Kaiser's How Maps Change Things, shows these principles in action. With ample case studies and sober explanation, this book will not only change how you view maps, but how you see the world.
     --Antonio Lopez, The Media Ecosystem,

For a new class or training program to improve intercultural competence How Maps Change Things could be the basis of one terrific learning journey! I highlighted something on nearly every one of its 188 pages. I learned so much, on so many different yet related topics, that I now have five or six threads of learning and discovery I want to pursue! Kaiser shows us how maps can be used to promote perspective shifting, equity, and social justice.
      --Dianne Hofner Saphiere, intercultural organizational effectiveness consultant and host of the Cultural Detective Blog. Read her full review at

Read your book and love it!  Everyone should read it. The style is accessible; even populist! … readers will get hooked.  Congratulations on a fine piece of work!
     --Brian Arthur Brown, author, Three Testaments: Torah, Gospel and Quran

Ward Kaiser’s work is easily accessible to both the general reader and the specialized geographer and provides a detailed introduction to global mapping and the impact maps have on the human global perspective. The book is filled with fascinating historical examples and entertaining stories of relationships between countries and people around the world and describes how they have been impacted by views of the world as provided by maps. Especially worthwhile are the many beautiful reprints of the different global maps available. This book provides an excellent introduction for High School and University Students as they examine the impact of maps on their view of the world.
     --Dr. Edmund Pries, Dept of Global Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University

How Maps Change Things is a creative and engaging tool for people of all ages and backgrounds to understand how we see the world and therefore how we relate to each other and to the earth, our home. Such an understanding is absolutely necessary if the global community is to chart a course toward an equitable and sustainable future. I recommend it.
     --Dr. David G. Hallman, Coordinator (rtrd), Climate Change Programme, World Council of Churches

Informative and readable ... I've always been interested in maps, and this book took me much further and developed the connections between maps, the natural world, political power, cultural and religious norms, the past and the future. It's an excellent read.
     --James Laxer, professor of political science in the Department of Equity Studies, York University, and author of Tecumseh and Brock: The War of 1812