Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Ken Jennings

Narrated By: Kirby Heyborne

Publisher: Tantor Media

Date: September 2011

Duration: 10 hours 31 minutes

Summary:

It comes as no surprise that, as a kid, Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings slept with a bulky Hammond world atlas by his pillow every night. Maphead recounts his lifelong love affair with geography and explores why maps have always been so fascinating to him and to fellow enthusiasts everywhere.

Jennings takes listeners on a world tour of geogeeks from the London Map Fair to the bowels of the Library of Congress, from the prepubescent geniuses at the National Geographic Bee to the computer programmers at Google Earth. Each chapter delves into a different aspect of map culture: highpointing, geocaching, road atlas rallying, even the "unreal estate" charted on the maps of fiction and fantasy. He also considers the ways in which cartography has shaped our history, suggesting that the impulse to make and read maps is as relevant today as it has ever been.

From the "Here be dragons" parchment maps of the Age of Discovery to the spinning globes of grade school to the postmodern revolution of digital maps and GPS, Maphead is filled with intriguing details, engaging anecdotes, and enlightening analysis. If you're an inveterate map lover yourself—or even if you're among the cartographically clueless who can get lost in a supermarket—let Ken Jennings be your guide to the strange world of mapheads.

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  • Jason Comely

    Ken Jennings is a brilliant and funny guy and what he has to say is worth listening to. Maphead is good evidence of this. It's chock full of interesting and humorous facts, and I'm not really into maps or geography. Good stuff.