Ken Jennings

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Chloropleth Maps Turn Green When They Are Put in the Sun

Ken is the author of Because I Said So!, Maphead, Brainiac, and Ken Jennings's Trivia Almanac.

Chloropleth Maps Turn Green When They Are Put in the Sun

Postby Serge A. Marek » Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:52 pm

Aloha. First, I want to say how much I enjoyed "Maphead". As a geographer many of the joys of maps expressed in this book I could easily relate too. Jennings ability to bring geography into the realm of popular culture is something that we academic geographers can only look on with envy (we seem to not be very good at this). However, I wanted to point out one specific error that was repeated twice throughout the book. This involved the misspelling of "choropleth map". In the book it is spelled twice as "chloropleth map". I like to tell my students (who do this regularly) that chloropleth maps turn green when put in the sun. Choropleth maps, on the other hand, are thematic maps that use shading at different levels of aggregation to show spatial variation in data (choro = Greek for place, space, land; country, district; much like Chrono is used to delineate time). This comment aside, Maphead is a wonderful addition to the geography literature and most likely will find its way into my classroom.
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Postby Ken Jennings » Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:03 pm

Ha, yeah, this has been pointed out by a couple readers (in one case very heatedly, by an angry professional cartographer). My notes have "choropleth" but at some point in the editing process, we decided to "go green" somehow. Still not sure how it happened, but it's a pretty embarrassing glitch. In any case, it'll be fixed in the paperback. Good catch, and thanks.
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