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Summer 2004
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Two New Books From Esri Press

Exploring History Through Maps, Taking the Mystery Out of Working With Census Data

Cartographica Extraordinaire

book coverIn the new book Cartographica Extraordinaire: The Historical Map Transformed, maps serve as time machines, transporting us hundreds of years into the past and showing us extraordinary views of history through the eyes of the mapmakers of the time. From a 1736 atlas depicting California as an island to a Civil War bird's eye view of military positions on the southeastern seaboard, the stunning reproductions from the renowned David Rumsey Map Collection and text illuminate early American history from a uniquely geographic perspective.

Just released from Esri Press, Cartographica Extraordinaire allows readers to witness an evolution in mapmaking as new lands are explored and the art and science of cartography progress from early surveyors' rods and chains to modern satellite imagery.

While most would be satisfied with the book's exquisite reproductions alone, authors David Rumsey and Edith M. Punt accomplish much more in the accompanying text, weaving the stories of the mapmakers themselves into the context of the historical times. Readers learn not just how and when a great continental wilderness was tamed but also how the evolution of cartography has profoundly affected the ways in which we understand the land on which we live today.

"In the process of telling stories about maps," says Allen Carroll, chief cartographer, National Geographic Society, "handsomely reproducing maps, enlarging map details, sticking maps together, and combining maps with the latest digital data, Rumsey and Punt expose us to the joyous disorder of cartophilia."

The book is a physical extension and a gateway to the award winning Web site—the premier historical map resource on the Internet. Organized in a chronological image bibliography at the end of the book, each map includes a unique reference number that points readers to its location in the online collection.

Cartographica Extraordinaire: The Historical Map Transformed, $79.95 (ISBN 1-58948-044-9) is available for purchase at or by calling 1-800-447-9778.

Unlocking the Census with GIS

book coverUnlocking the Census with GIS is an important, upcoming new book from Esri Press describing how GIS can be used to better access, understand, manage, and analyze many kinds of census data and census-related information and present it in a spatial format.

Written by University of Iowa professors Alan Peters and Heather MacDonald, this soon-to-be-published volume is aimed at urban planners, demographers, research professionals, educators, and students. More than 300 pages of text, maps, and other graphics explain how readers can make more effective use of census data in their daily work.

The main focus of Unlocking the Census with GIS is the 2000 Census, but the book also deals with earlier Censuses of Population and Housing, the TIGER/Line mapping system, the Economic Census, the American Community Survey, and a range of other related data sources. Several chapters include applied examples of census analyses.

"We tried to choose examples that show important principles at work or techniques that have broad applicability to census use," say the authors.

As the authors note, the census can be "a dauntingly large and complex beast," but Unlocking the Census with GIS provides an essential key for researchers and planners using modern computer technology to better understand where and how people live, work, travel, spend, and play.

The book assumes no prior knowledge of the census or other official data sources and only basic knowledge of GIS. Even if readers do not have access to a GIS, the book still stands as a useful resource since most of it involves explaining the organization and content of the census. Because the acquisition of census data is increasingly Web-based, the authors say, "Readers will get the most benefit if they have an Internet connection handy."

Peters, a professor of urban and regional planning, has used GIS in his research to help analyze such issues as tax competition and the effectiveness of employment creation policy. MacDonald, an associate professor in urban and regional planning, has served as chair of the planning program at the University of Iowa since 2000.

Unlocking the Census with GIS will be available for purchase at or by calling 1-800-447-9778.

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