Brassiere Hills, Alaska. Mollys Nipple, Utah. Outhouse Draw, Nevada. In the early twentieth century, it was common for towns and geographical features to have salacious, bawdy, and even derogatory names. In the age before political correctness, map-makers readily accepted any local preference for place names, prizing accurate representation over standards of decorum. But later, when sanctions prohibited local use of racially, ethnically, and scatalogically offensive toponyms, names like Jap Valley, California, were erased from the national and cultural map forever. From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow probes this little-kwn chapter in American cartographic history by considering the intersecting efforts to computerize mapmaking, standardize geographic names, and respond to public concern over ethnically offensive appellations. Unlike other books that consider place names, this is the first to reflect on both the real cartographic and political imbroglios they engender.
Mark Monmonier is distinguished professor of geography at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the author of, among other titles, Spying with Maps and Rhumb Lines and Map Wars, both published by the University of Chicago Press.