Statistical Science

Lying with Maps

Mark Monmonier

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Darrell Huff’s How to Lie with Statistics was the inspiration for How to Lie with Maps, in which the author showed that geometric distortion and graphic generalization of data are unavoidable elements of cartographic representation. New examples of how ill-conceived or deliberately contrived statistical maps can greatly distort geographic reality demonstrate that lying with maps is a special case of lying with statistics. Issues addressed include the effects of map scale on geometry and feature selection, the importance of using a symbolization metaphor appropriate to the data and the power of data classification to either reveal meaningful spatial trends or promote misleading interpretations.

Article information

Statist. Sci., Volume 20, Number 3 (2005), 215-222.

First available in Project Euclid: 24 August 2005

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Zentralblatt MATH identifier

Classification deception generalization maps statistical graphics


Monmonier, Mark. Lying with Maps. Statist. Sci. 20 (2005), no. 3, 215--222. doi:10.1214/088342305000000241.

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