Publication Date: December 2012
Categories: Cartography, Nonfiction
Source: Gotham Books
Cartography enthusiasts rejoice: the bestselling author of the Just My Type reveals the fascinating relationship between man and map. Simon Garfield’s Just My Type illuminated the world of fonts and made everyone take a stand on Comic Sans and care about kerning. Now Garfield takes on a subject even dearer to our fanatical human hearts: maps. Imagine a world without maps. How would we travel? Could we own land? What would men and women argue about in cars? Scientists have even suggested that mapping—not language—is what elevated our prehistoric ancestors from ape-dom.
Follow the history of maps from the early explorers’ maps and the awe-inspiring medieval Mappa Mundi to Google Maps and the satellite renderings on our smartphones, Garfield explores the unique way that maps relate and realign our history—and reflect the best and worst of what makes us human. Featuring a foreword by Dava Sobel and packed with fascinating tales of cartographic intrigue, outsize personalities, and amusing “pocket maps” on an array of subjects from how to fold a map to the strangest maps on the Internet, On the Map is a rich historical tapestry infused with Garfield’s signature narrative flair.
If you would have told me that maps are romantic and fascinating I probably would have smiled at you politely and rolled my eyes behind your back. Maybe even to your face. It's not that I'm that full of snark, it's just that I wouldn't have believed you. After reading On the Map I now know that maps are romantic and fascinating.
This book is just what I love: Nonfiction packed with strange and wonderful facts. Simon Garfield has written a humorous presentation of history told through maps. From cave markings, Lewis & Clark to the maps of the future...I was enthralled from start to finish.
On the Map contains dozens of gorgeous photographs. A sampling:
Mappa Mundi: A scandal in the making:
Hereford Cathedral's Dean, Peter Haynes (left), and Sotheby's chairman Lord Gowrie
announce the sale of the Mappa Mundi.
Neverland: The Colgate-Disney map of Neverland— tragically, "of limited use."
I highly recommend On the Map. Highly.