On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks (Ala Notable Books for Adults)
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. Map-obsessives and everyone who loved Just My Type will be lining up to join Garfield on his audacious journey through time and around the globe.
butcher’s paper. ‘I felt very excited,’ he remembers. ‘I was pretty sure I knew what it was.’ He had taken a course in Mesoamerican archaeology, and he thought that the map, which showed a Mexican valley from the sixteenth century, was on paper made from fig-bark. He paid $800 for it. When he got it home he narrowed it down to about 1540. He discovered that there was also another map on the other side. He decided to offer it to Yale, where he was in his second year studying American History. ‘I
crammed up there. It was thought likely that this brain area in cab drivers would be larger than in those who, for example, were constantly getting lost on their way from their front door to the shops (apparently another Einstein occurrence). But it was only very recently that this theory was proven, in a scientifically elegant story that combines both everyday practical maps and the grander notion of the way we read and memorise them: the software and the hardware. In 2000, a young woman called
presentation from two attendees called Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden. Allan, a senior research fellow at the University of Exeter, had just finished some analytical work on the Fukushima nuclear disaster when he was ‘looking for some cool stuff to do’. What he found, after some digging in the recesses of his MacBook Pro, was that every call he had made on his iPhone had been logged on his computer with coordinates for latitude and longitude. The information was not encrypted, and was available
as part of Gondwana 260 telegraph line 239 and Terra Australis 261 Australopithecus 414 Automative Navigation Data (AND) 380–81 Automobile Club of America 402 Ayers Rock (Uluru), Australia 239 Azimuthal projection 13, 127, 134, 350 Azores 71 Babylonian world map clay tablet 38, 38n Bacon, CW 437 Baedeker 302–4, 303, 305, 306, 308, 310 Bahamas 106, 107, 111 Balbao, Vasco Nuñez de 113 Ball, Lucille 320 Banks, Joseph 205 Barber, Peter 53 barometers 182, 189 Barrie, Sir J. M.
Earth 435 Visscher, Claes Janszoon 161, 353 Vizcaino, Sebastian 124 Volgograd, Russia 78 Voronoi diagram 228 Waddington & Co 403, 404, 405n Waldseemüller, Martin 113, 116, 141–42, 146 Waldseemüller map 104, 112–15, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119 Warden, Peter 432 Wasp (a schooner) 221 Watson, Lieutenant-Colonel David 184 Waugh, Colonel Andrew 193 Weber Costello 334 Weddell, James 265, 266 Weddell Sea 265, 266 Weismuller, Johnny 320 Wells, H. G. 389 Wendover, Roger 60 Wentworth, William