Maps serve so many functions in today’s classrooms - maps can be anything from information sources to a final project in a wide variety of disciplines. Having the right tools and knowledge to understand and evaluate these vital resources will allow people to become more effective researchers in any discipline. This chapter focuses on the idea that maps, just like other kinds of information, need to be critically evaluated in order to be used ethically and effectively. The chapter opens with a practical discussion of why maps need to be evaluated, and will include examples of bias and agenda in maps. This section will contain tools the reader can use to evaluate the maps that they find. The reader will learn to use metadata, comparison, and other evaluation in order to more effectively read between a map’s lines - what was the mapmaker trying to portray with this map? Why would they want this location visualized this way? Finally, it ends with a discussion of what critical map evaluation could look like in the information literacy classroom.
From Unframing the Visual: Visual Literacy Pedagogy in Academic Libraries and Information Spaces, published by ACRL in 2024.
Fox, Nicole, "Reading Between the Lines" (2024). Library Faculty Scholarship. 15.