What is it we want our maps to be now, if no longer a single authoritative view or the world?
Brooke Gladstone, Host of NPR’s On the Media

Maps are rhetorical devices. Propositions. Arguments. Stories.

They present the world according to how the mapmaker sees it. As cartographer J.B. Harley notes, “The steps in making a map – selection, omission, simplification, classification, the creation of hierarchies, and ‘symbolization’ – are all inherently rhetorical.” (Harley, 1989) By favoring certain data points over others and placing them in a particular context, color scheme, and larger narrative, a mapmaker makes a set of critical decisions. The following is meant to help journalists navigate the new mapping “hype” and use maps in a way that really serves their story.

Mind the Map: Toward a Handbook for Journalists (written for the MIT Center for Civic Media)

Mind the Map: Toward a Handbook for Journalists