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Sept. 3, 2013, 12:09 p.m.

With a U.S. attack on Syria likely on the way, news organizations have been ramping up their explainers. A lot of those stories feature maps. Cartographic historian Dan Brownstein thinks they have problems.

The rise of infographics has led to some thoughtful conversations around the ethical questions that underpin them — an illustrated visual representation of reality is bound by the same obligation to reflect reality as the written word — but many of the same issues apply to maps. Brownstein’s also written recently about maps of the Yosemite fires and Cairo protests.

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