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Mapping Hacks : Tips & Tools for Electronic Cartography

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Mapping Hacks is a collection of one hundred simple techniques available to developers and power users who want to draw digital maps. You'll learn where to find the best sources of geographic data and then how to integrate that data into your own creations. With so many industrial-strength tips and tools, Mapping Hacks effectively takes the sting out of digital mapmaking.

Humans are born storytellers. It's part of our chattering simian heritageas if we taught ourselves language just to be able to spin yarns late at night, around the recently invented campfire. Now, every story, as any school child knows, can be told by answering the five great W questions: Who? What? Why? When? and, of course, Where? It is this final query that we wish to address in this book.

Indeed, nearly every human story, in one way or another, takes place somewhere! These tales rely on our knowledge of geography, which defines our perceptions of "place" in scientific terms. Geography interests itself in the measurement of locationstheir relative positions, dimensions, geometrical relations, and the enumeration of their names and their physical contents. The representation of the story itself is the goal of cartography. To tell stories about places, or relay the spatial component of any narrative, we must bring together the science of geography and the art of cartography. Learning to do so in a compelling fashion can be a challenge! The results we cobble together in the process often qualify, in the parlance of our times, as hacks.

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