Maps, Verbs and a Birthday - Releases a New Ebook Celebrating Famous Mapmakers and Provocative Maps

The 500th birthday of Gerhard Mercator, is March 5...and his world map still impacts many people. Four centuries later Arno Peters, created a new world map that many praise as more accurate, but others see as distorted. Ward Kaiser’s new book How Maps Change Things investigates both maps and examines maps as change agents, reflecting intentions and agendas, revealing who has power and resources, and who has not. What are the messages maps send? Are maps simply propaganda for a hidden agenda?

Amherst, MA, March 01, 2012 --( The 500th birthday of map-maker Gerhard Kremer, aka Mercator, is on March 5th...and his world map continues to shape the world view of vast numbers of people. From blogs to books Mercator is vilified as often as he is celebrated.

Some four centuries later Arno Peters created what many praise as a fair and more accurate view of the world but others see as a distorted or misleading map. In spite of their differences, both men share a common desire to use maps as a route to a better world.

A landmark book will be released this March 5th - on Mercator’s 500th - that looks at maps, by these two men and others. This examination goes beyond maps as nouns, as tactile objects that show locations and distances. “Maps are verbs” is the author’s arresting statement at the outset of How Maps Change Things: A Conversation About the Maps We Choose and the World We Want. The book examines maps as change agents, reflecting intentions and setting agendas, revealing who has power and resources, and who has not. What are the messages maps send? What were Mercator, Peters and other map makers setting out to do with each of their creations?

Ward Kaiser, author, publisher, pastor and historian was instrumental in bringing the Peters Equal Area Map to North America. He has been leading the discussion of what maps mean and the power of maps in framing human activities. In How Maps Change Things Kaiser takes a passionate view of how maps illustrate and influence the significant paths humans pursue. Rather than looking for definitive answers, Kaiser asks thought provoking questions. What does our world, as seen through maps, really look like and what does the perspective (or frame of reference or bias) of the viewer bring to the map and its message? Are maps simply propaganda for the hidden agenda of the mapmaker? Why is there such a difference between the world we experience and the world we want...and who cares and why? Kaiser has stimulated an impressive and important conversation.

In the book’s dedication Kaiser extols the will and work of Mercator and Peters. Kaiser uses these pioneers to challenge our perceptions. He says these two are “...separated by centuries but united in a common goal to map a better world.”

Dr. Danny Dorling extols Kaiser’s new work. The Professor of Human Geography at University of Sheffield said of How Maps Change Things, “This is not just a book about maps - although it is full of maps - it’s about a world view.”

Publication Date: March, 2012; ebook format $9.99
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Co-Published by New Internationalist (Adelaide, Australia) and (Amherst, MA, USA)

Author interviews are available from 413-549-1293
Media can download the book on-line . Email your request to odtstore @

Unusual & provocative map images available to media as JPGs or PDFs

Bob Abramms
Fax: 413-549-3503