I am a cartography student. This book is a required text. One of the most important subjects the instructor has taught us is to know your audience in order to make a map that will communicate effectively to them. Upon wading through this text I feel the authors do not know their audience. The book is obviously not meant for an advanced course. It is supposed to be for beginners, I guess, like me. But the authors do not seem to have decided what it is they want to communicate. 12 pages are dedicated to cute sayings or poetry. 43 pages are given over to meaningless diagrams that seem more like artwork and do not appear to add to the subject. The book is 256 pages and those useless pages make up over 20% of the book.
The index is full of references to people some of which I have heard of like Roseanne Barr, Norman Mailer, Lee Harvey Oswald and Mark Twain, and many I haven't. What became frustrating was trying to find some references to cartography stuff that were missing while I could find where Norman Mailer is discussed. Who cares? What is the book supposed to be? a text on cartography or a social treatise. I feel the authors want a second career outside cartography.
Some statements were questionable like saying the Gaza Strip is not part of Israel. It may not be for long, but it is now. The authors are PhDs and should at least know what is generally known. Another misstatement is "one degree of latitude is always 69 miles..." True if you round off to the units place, but it is not absolutely true. 1 deg lat at the equator is 68.7 miles and at 80 degrees it = 69.4 miles. A minor point to be sure, but their statement was an absolute, which is wrong.
I know something about comparing apples to apples. If one wants to make a comparison, in order for it to make sense, everything has to be kept constant while only one variable is changed. Sometimes their method of analysis does not make sense. For example in chapter 8 on Map Generalization and Classification, pages 152 - 154, the subject is Data Classification. To make their points they show 4 series of maps covering Qualitative Point data, Qualitative Line data, Quantitative Point data and Quantitative line data. The first series (Qualitative Point data) of maps violate the basic comparison rule, whereas the other 3 series' do not. The first three maps in the first series are titled "Most Important Social Issues, Community Social Concerns and Predicted Party Affiliation. Three different maps showing different data. But the other three series titles are consistent: Tourist roads, tourist roads, tourist roads; Toxins, toxins, toxins; and Speeds, speeds and speeds. In the latter 3 series Tourist roads, and then Toxins and then Speeds are kept constant and the changes in the way the mapping is done clearly shows why in each case the latter map is the better one. However, in the first everything changes from map to map. Each data point changes and conveys something different. One cannot understand how the last map (Predicted Party Affiliation) is better than the one showing Most Important Social Issues.
In chapter 9 on page 196 the subject is Surface Maps. The definition for Isopleth maps is given, but Isorythmic maps are not mentioned. Reading their definition of Isopleth maps sounds a little like the definition of Isorythmic maps. The confusion comes from the fact that both deal with surface maps. Isopleth maps have constant value contour lines whereas the Isorythmic maps deal with shading of colors to indicate the changes in the surface values. And even though they define Isopleth maps, they show Isorythmic maps as examples (???). Bottom line the book is not the quality I would expect from authors who apparently have high qualifications. The book is more akin to a undergraduate term paper.
There are places where the writing is good and allows the reader to learn something, then the style gets weird, or parenthetical or changes person, or there are missing sentences. I don't know how to categorize it. Just strange.
They include a map of the flight of the voyager in each chapter and show why it is good according to the subject of that chapter. That is a good approach. I can learn by looking at the map.
But finally, they include a picture of an ugly naked woman. Hey guys if you are going to show naked women, at least include ones worth looking at.
I would not recommend the book.