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This Is ME

I’m from Needles, CA, with my family’s chicken enchiladas and homeade steaming chili.

The third generation of my family. Taken in Needles, CA.

“Tough times don’t last but tough people do.”- A.C. Green


Touring around campus with AUM

After College Algebra, I decided to meet back up with the AUM students and help Blakeley take them on a tour. I actually learned about some stuff along the way, like how the chapel stained glass was based on the seasons and by how the sun will shine in based on that season. I was also interested in the fact that all the AUM students thought of our campus as being really nice and new looking, which is good, but I guess I have always taken it for granted. Finally, another interesting thing was that they commented on how skinny our campus was, which I always knew, but I thought I just always noticed it because I knew of the weight requirements put on many of the students here. However, I guess even outside parties take notice of our beauty conscious school. Finally, the last memorable thing from my visit with the AUM students was when some of them were discussing some of the parts of town on their map that you should stay out of. How ambulances even needed a police escort to enter those parts of town. They also discussed how there is still remnants of racism there, since much of the Civil Rights Movement took place there. All in all, I had an amazing visit with the AUM students!

“It hurts up to a point and then it doesn’t get any worse.”- Trason

Invisible City Map

The map that my group decided to make was a puzzle. This puzzle would be of pictures that our map would take them. Once you put the puzzle together, you could then glue the picture puzzle to the back of the actual map, so you now have two sides to it. In my group for this project, was the Cyanofiles, Adorable Angst, and AJ Prancing Pony. We decided to center our map around the Bricktown area because there is a lot of places to explore in a concentrated area. There are the Myriad Gardens, which are beautiful and have wonderful waterfalls. There are places to stop and eat, such as Pinkitzel and Marble Slab. There are also places that are just nice to walk around, like the Riverwalk that then runs into the fun horse statues. There is something for everyone in Bricktown and it has a nice vibe about it.

Our main source of Visual Rhetoric in our map was the pictures we used. They were zoomed in so that the receiver of the map wouldn’t get the whole picture of where we were sending them and so it would still be a surprise.

“A runner must run with dreams in his heart.” – Zatopek

Visual Analysis of Two Major Businesses

     These are the maps for my paper.






Businesses Taking Over the World


            The maps below are of two businesses that are well known around the world. Although they don’t have to compete with each other, since one is in the fast food business and the other in social media, they still are popular all around the world as seen on some maps. Both maps also show the popularity of the companies by using dots of the stores or of the users of their product. In addition, their use of color is similar as well. In this analysis I will compare the way the maps advertise and their use of color, as well as discuss the effectiveness of the maps to portray the businesses’ success.



Map of the number of McDonald’s stores open across the

United States.




Map of the number of people on Facebook in theUnited States.






I chose these two maps because they both use a similar technique to show the success of their businesses. In Monmonier’s How to Lie with Maps, he talks about how some maps advertise by using dots to show their businesses success and convenience; “numerousness indicates success, and success indicates a superior product” (Monmonier 68). Both maps are crammed with dots and show how Facebook and McDonald’s are extremely popular by basically lighting up the maps. Although it is highly unlikely, if there was someone who had never heard of either Facebook or McDonald’s they would most likely try to figure out what these two companies were and look into it, so they could see what the fuss is about them. This is exactly what both of these companies want. In addition to the dot technique, Facebook also uses lines to show the connections it provides. Moreover, instead of using straight lines from place to place it uses curved lines to make a “dramatic, rather busy-looking map” (Monmonier 61). This gives Facebook extra reinforcement on how successful they are. Both of McDonald’s and Facebook’s maps illustrate just how widespread and thriving their businesses are in theUnited States.

Another similarity between the maps is their use of color. They both use the colors that people associate the businesses with- McDonald’s a reddish-yellow and Facebook with blue. In How to Lie with Maps, Monmonier describes how color is a “clever or an obvious reinforcement to pictorial symbols” (Monmonier 171). By having both maps in the color that are associated with their business, the maps are able to reinforce the fact that they are with that certain company. However, what if the McDonald’s map was being used by an organization that was against this fast food chain? Perhaps the red-orange color is meant to be associated with anger or warning. As Monmonier reminds us, color and its’ effect “depend very much upon context” (Monmonier 171). Either way, the purpose of the map is to show the success of this fast food chain. If this success is supposed to be seen as negative or positive depends on the maker of the map and its’ intended audience. If the map was supposed to show how McDonald’s is taking over and that it is bad because it is unhealthy, then the audience is probably for health food groups who are trying to convince people to stop going to McDonald’s, and the color is more likely supposed to be a warning color instead of symbolizing the company. How the maps are interpreted, depends on the audience and context of the map.

Every map lies in some little way, but the “value of a map depends on how well it its’ generalized geometry and generalized content reflect a chosen aspect of reality” (Monmonier 25). In these maps the biggest generalization is the amount of users and stores around theUnited States. For example, there may be that amount of Facebook users in theUnited States, but not all of the Facebook users are on all the time and some people even get off for an extended period of time. So although, there are many people online, is Facebook really connecting as many people as they say that they are? Should they have only lit up their map for people that get on daily? For Facebook’s purposes, no. They want it to seem like they are connecting millions of people everywhere, everyday. This map is also leaving out the fact that some people don’t have a computer or an account. Instead they decide to not show the amount of people without a Facebook because it is better for their argument and it is less cluttered. In Writing Spaces they talk about giving the text or picture “room to ‘breathe’ and the pages are much more reader friendly for it” (Barton 41). The map is easier to read and grasp what the maker of the map is trying to portray to the viewers. The generalization made on the McDonald’s map also has to do with the amount of restaurants open. The possibility that some of the locations are under construction is possible, but the map maker still decides to keep it on the map because it helps argue the success of McDonald’s and they still are restaurants that will sooner or later be open. Cartographers use generalizations to make the maps easier to read as well as to aid in the argument they are making.


A map that is found on the Facebook website and shows the

connections that are made around the world.

Are these maps successful in portraying the success of McDonald’s and Facebook? The answer is yes, yes they do. McDonald’s map is better able to show its’ success because there are few to no spots where there isn’t a restaurant location. It also helps that there is a radius of color around the dot, which makes it take up more area and cover more space, making there be less empty space and further supporting the fact that McDonald’s is popular everywhere in the United States. Facebook’s map is not as successful at showing how widespread it is like McDonald’s map because there are more dark areas, especially inSouth America. However, it does try to make up for this fact by adding lines that connect to everywhere around the world even if it isn’t lit up very well. A better map that would help bear Facebook’s purposes easily is the map shown on the log in page for the website. This map is better able to show all the connections that are made by Facebook without having to show all the areas that Facebook is not as popular in. It is more vague about where most of the Facebook users are. As said in the blog Something, Someone, “the Facebook map draws several lines to blur readers to generalize that Facebook users are everywhere. In short, it is hiding where it exactly is” (“Juxtaposition”). She is very correct in her statement. This map makes it look like there are users everywhere and doesn’t specify how many or how popular it is in that area. Again, look at easternSouth America on both maps. The vague map shows that people have Facebook there, when in reality they do, but there are very few people compared to other places as it is barely even lit up on the map. This shows you that the more vague map is better at arguing for the sake of Facebook’s popularity even if it isn’t as upfront about how many users are actually in that area. Both maps are able to show how popular the businesses are, McDonald’s just better achieves this goal.

Maps must always be taken with a grain of salt. There are generalizations made when it comes to maps and cartographers are able to tamper with them to better suit the argument that they are attempting to hold up. Whether it’s the color, lines, or generalizations each map is able to be molded into whatever way the cartographer wants it to be molded. Some people may think that this lying, but it is the viewers’ duty to be aware of what the maps intended purpose is and then look to see what the map maker could have done to the map to help support his argument.



                                                                   Works Cited


Barton, Matt, James Kalmbach, and Charles Lowe. Writing Spaces. 1.0. A Writing Spaces & Parlor Press Open Textbook, 2011. Web. 9 Apr. 2012.


Facebook. Facebook Connections. Voice of America. Web. 9 Apr. 2012.


Facebook. Facebook Map. Facebook. Web. 9 Apr. 2012.


“Juxtaposition.” Something, Someone. Luxilucycrystal, 3 Apr. 2012. Web. 9 Apr. 2012.


Monmonier, Mark. How to Lie with Maps.Chicago: TheUniversity ofChicago Press, 1996. Print.


Von Worley, Stephen. Every McDonald’s in the U.S. 2009. Huffington Post. Web. 9 Apr. 2012.



Image Image

Both of these maps use the same technique to show that their business is successful. They use dots for every user of Facebook or every McDonald’s restaurant location. They both achieve their goal of looking popular because they both basically light up the map. McDonald’s dots help it because there is a radius of color around each dot to cover up more space and leave less empty space which makes it look like there are more restaurant locations than there really are. Facebook also uses something extra to help the map look busier than it really is; it uses lines to connect all across the map, even in areas that are not as well lit. Both of these strategies help make the map look busy and are a positive reinforcement for what the illustrator wants to portray to the viewers- that the business is indeed successful.

Another similarity between the maps is the use of color on the maps. Both maps use colors that are associated with the businesses: McDonald’s a red-yellowish color, and Facebook with blue. By doing this the viewer’s are already associating the map with that company. This method just reemphasizes the success of the corporations because we know why they are using that color, since they are so poplular.

Stand Your Ground vs. Trayvon Martin

Since we talked about Trayvon Martin in class I decided to look and see if there were any maps that perhaps pertained to the case. I found a map that shows the states that passed the “stand your ground” law on Mother Jones. This is the law that is “protecting” Zimmerman. This map is used to show you the states that have passed this law and those that have thought about passing it. The maker of this map wants to show you other places where this tragedy could possibly take place with the shooter “using self defense to get away with murder.” This law allows citizens to “use deadly force against a threat without attempting to back down from the situation.” The maker of this map wants the viewers to know how their state voted and maybe convince them in trying to change it as well as keep the states that haven’t voted for it to keep it that way.


In Monmonier’s How to Lie with Maps, he describes how color varies with culture (170). He then goes on to describe how some of those colors are perceived here in the United States. For example, red is “associated with fire, warning, heat, blood, anger…its effect probably depends very much upon context” (170-171). On this map it is most likely associated with blood or anger for Trayvon’s murder. While the yellow is associated with caution like it is for the traffic light; caution to not pass this law. As you can see both Oklahoma and Alabama have passed this law. What are we going to do about it?

 “You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.” – Prefontaine