Mapping the World: Stories of Geography

Category: Book
By (author): Laffon, Caroline
By (author): Laffon, Martine
Subject:  HISTORY / Historical Geography
  HISTORY / World
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography
Publisher: Firefly Books
Published: September 2009
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 192
Size: 10.00in x 11.25in x 1.00in
Our Price:
$ 33.95
Availability:
Available: 3-5 days

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

An illustrated history of explorers' maps and the questions they answer.

More than the detailed representation of the geographical areas that their makers explored, maps reveal their makers' worldview as well as the myths, beliefs and legends of their times. By patiently creating maps, globes, charts and atlases, humans have sought to understand the universe and our place in it.

Mapping the World explores many rare and fascinating mapping artifacts, beginning with the first crude drawings and progressing to the stunning satellite views of today. Many of these examples will be unfamiliar even to serious cartographers and collectors. Thirty essays answer the questions map-makers have asked and reveal the roles their maps played in finding those answers.

Color reproductions of beautiful maps and charts include:

  • A Chinese map dated to 1229 that shows the city's bridges, pagodas and gardens
  • A French 15th-century interpretation of the four corners of the Earth
  • A painted silk map of the universe dating from the 1830s
  • A modern "inverse" world map from Australia's perspective
  • The cosmos as imagined in 1750.

With 87 maps in all, Mapping the World will fascinate general readers, map collectors, geographers, cartographers and historians.

From The Publisher*An illustrated history of explorers' maps and the questions they answer. Praise for the hardcover edition: "Beautiful. . . . Exotic and fantastical antique maps. . . . Mapping the World shows both the precision and the disorder underscoring the evolution of mapmaking, and how mistakes altered and confused perception, depending on where the maps were made." -- The New York Times Book Review
Review Quote*The Laffons emphasize that maps bring us more than the geographic coordinates of a place; they tell us stories about the landscape.
Review Quote*There are no GPS pictures in Caroline and Martine Laffon's Mapping the World, but there are beautiful maps spanning thousands of years, from outlines of a Chinese city to modern satellite maps. As the authors suggest, maps, especially old ones, "are more literary than geographical," revealing the view of the world held by their creators, along with the myths, legends and beliefs of their times.
Review Quote*Almost every present-day use of maps, from finding travel directions, through advertising choice land for settlement, to taxation have historical examples, as illustrated in this book. Mapping the World is a beautifully illustrated and produced volume that would be a worthwhile addition to any library.
Review Quote*As albums of cartography go, this one possesses qualities for the unconventional connoisseur. For it is not a history of maps, nor does its text mechanically describe the 87 images of historical maps on offer. Rather, the authors discuss the meaning of geographical representation in cosmic and imaginative terms.... An unusual yet arresting treatment, the Laffons's inventive approach to cartography has definite artistic appeal.
Review Quote*Beautiful maps spanning thousands of years, from outlines of a Chinese city to modern satellite maps.
Review Quote*Mapping the World excavates the history of cartography with enticing examples from a wide variety of places and eras.
Review Quote*Beautiful. . . . Exotic and fantastical antique maps. . . . Mapping the World shows both the precision and the disorder underscoring the evolution of mapmaking, and how mistakes altered and confused perception, depending on where the maps were made.
Review Quote*A fascinating and authoritative introduction to the science of meteorites.