This article delves into the unique approach of ODT, Inc. from Amherst, Massachusetts, an enterprise…
Known for its exceptional educational resources like the Hobo-Dyer map, ODT, Inc. presented an enlightening DVD in 2006 titled “Many Ways to See the World”. It offered a fascinating journey into the world of geography, based on the thought-provoking book “Seeing Through Maps”. This article takes a look at what made this educational film so interesting and special.
This DVD is not your ordinary geography lesson. Within just 30 minutes, it takes the viewers into the minds of twelve extraordinary mapmakers, whose unique backgrounds, philosophies, values, and politics informed their choice of mathematical formulas for their maps. We learn about how the maps they created have consciously and unconsciously influenced our worldview.
ODT‘s DVD presents a captivating story, from the amusing tale of the creation of a South-up map to the original intention behind Mercator’s projection. It explores Arno Peters‘ mission to create a map representation that was fair to all peoples and delves into Buckminster Fuller’s unique rendition of the world.
Valuable Lessons Learned
This fast-paced film conveys three powerful messages through an analysis of maps:
- The “truth” can be altered based on your vantage point.
- We can only truly understand the world if we are willing to see things from multiple perspectives.
- One person’s voice can make a big difference!
These lessons linger in our minds long after the credits rolled, altering the way we perceive the world around us.
More Than Just a Film
But the DVD does not just stop at the film. It is packed with bonus features, including over 70 PowerPoint images with links to map resources around the world, previews of subsequently upcoming features like “Arno Peters: Radical Map, Remarkable Man”, MP3 audio files of radio interviews, book excerpts, and even bonus footage and trailers.
And while the DVD might still be available for purchase, you can now watch Many Ways to See the World for free:
Reviews and Testimonials
“Many Ways to See the World” received high praise from various quarters. Brant Abrahamson of the Teachers’ Press appreciated the humanistic approach to mapmaking, commenting, “You show cartographers as real people who have specific goals in mind.”
Government Training News found it to be a “fascinating exploration of world maps,” while Howard Zinn, the author of “A People’s History of the United States“, hoped that it would be shown in classrooms everywhere. Harris Sussman called it the most effective presentation about the use of maps he had ever seen, while Claire O’Brien, a museum educator from Springfield Museums, termed it “a delightful and wondrous resource to discover new ways to see the world”.
“Many Ways to See the World” by ODT, Inc. is more than a DVD about maps and cartography – it is a call to shift our perspectives and appreciate the interconnectedness of our world. By taking us behind the scenes of mapmaking, it offers an alternative understanding of our world.