Mapping the World: Stories of Geography
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Mapping the World: Stories of Geography

by Caroline Laffon, Martine Laffon
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

American Scientist, Vol. 98 - Brian Hayes
The Laffons emphasize that maps bring us more than the geographic coordinates of a place; they tell us stories about the landscape.
Saskatoon Star Phoenix - Paul Carbray
Beautiful maps spanning thousands of years, from outlines of a Chinese city to modern satellite maps.
Science Books and Film - Clarence J. Murphy
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.
Booklist - Gilbert Taylor
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.
Wall Street Journal - Lisa Rossi
Mapping the World excavates the history of cartography with enticing examples from a wide variety of places and eras.
Frontenac This Week/Kingston This Week - Rob Mooy
A fascinating and authoritative introduction to the science of meteorites.
RALPH - Irving Spivak
This book is short but pithy, and has over 100 photographs, charts and drawings... Meteorites look no better than your average plucked chicken, but the sky shots in the book are terrific.
The New York Times Book Review
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.
Frontenac This Week/Kingston This Week
A fascinating and authoritative introduction to the science of meteorites.
— Rob Mooy
RALPH
This book is short but pithy, and has over 100 photographs, charts and drawings... Meteorites look no better than your average plucked chicken, but the sky shots in the book are terrific.
— Irving Spivak
Saskatoon Star Phoenix
There are no GPS pictures [here] but there are beautiful maps spanning thousands of years.
— Paul Carbray
Science Books and Film
Mapping the World is a beautifully illustrated and produced volume that would be a worthwhile addition to any library.
— Clarence J. Murphy, emeritus, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
Booklist
An unusual yet arresting treatment, the Laffons's inventive approach to cartography has definite artistic appeal.
— Gilbert Taylor
Montreal Gazette
Beautiful maps spanning thousands of years, from outlines of a Chinese city to modern satellite maps.
— Paul Carbray
Wall Street Journal
Mapping the World excavates the history of cartography with enticing examples from a wide variety of places and eras.
— Lisa Rossi

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554077816
Publisher:
Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date:
09/10/2009
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
946,970
Product dimensions:
11.68(w) x 11.80(h) x 0.57(d)

Meet the Author

Caroline Laffon is a documentary filmmaker and author. Martine Laffon is an editor, writer and philosopher. They are the coauthors of A Home in the World and several other reference books.

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