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Yes, Maps Can Lie. But Not Like This.

Mark Monmonier, the author of How to Lie With Maps, has seen a lot of misleading and deceptive maps. But Trump’s doctored Dorian forecast is a new one.
President Donald Trump shows off an altered map of Hurricane Dorian's anticipated track on September 4.
President Donald Trump shows off an altered map of Hurricane Dorian's anticipated track on September 4.Evan Vucci/AP

People take maps at face value because maps generally work. That is despite the fact that maps lie, even good ones. These lies, however, are usually ones of omission and generalization—if maps presented the whole truth of the landscapes they represent, they’d be difficult to use.

But some maps lie for other, less benign reasons, like a certain hurricane forecasting chart that is now fated to go down as one of the most boldly mendacious maps in history.