The World Through Maps: A History of Cartography

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Firefly Books, 2003 - History - 224 pages
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The history of mapping from prehistoric times to the present.

This book explores how maps were developed and why they reveal as much about the people who created them as they reveal about the world. Throughout the ages, maps have reflected religious beliefs, disseminated propaganda, expressed cultural attitudes, and promoted new theories.

Through accessible text and color images, the book traces the fascinating history of cartography. The ancient Greeks were brilliant cartographers whose mapping skills were honed as a result of the global conquests of Alexander the Great. Their understanding of a spherical Earth and how to depict it on a flat sheet of paper was nearly lost during the Middle Ages.

The book explains why in the 15th century, the value of sea charts rivaled gold as a primary target for buccaneer captains. Later, maps became status symbols among wealthy merchants who built vast fortunes thanks to thriving trade routes made possible by reliable sea navigation.

The World Through Maps is abundantly illustrated with historically important maps to explain the development of cartography. Significant maps include:

  • Aboriginal Dreamtime map
  • Ancient Greek maps including Ptolemy's map
  • Medieval maps of Europe
  • Ortelius's Atlas, World Theatre
  • Early maps of the New World
  • Lewis and Clark's maps of exploration
  • Modern maps in the age of satellites

Contemporary maps are so accurate and plentiful that they are often taken for granted. The World Through Maps is a lively book that tells why this was not always so.

  

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The World Through Maps: A History of Cartography

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Short (chair, geography & environmental systems, Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore Cty.), the author of 22 books on geography and cartography, has produced a handsomely illustrated introduction to the ... Read full review

Contents

First printing 2003 Orientation
14
Short John Rennie
24
Publisher in CataloguinginPublication Data U S The Maps of Hunter Gatherers
32
reproductions of 200 antique maps 3 THE ANCIENT WORLD
38
Published in Canada in 2003
46
Published in the United States in 2003
52
Oxon OX 14 1BZ Mappaemundi
58
Andromeda Oxford Ltd 2003
66
Printed in Italy Maps of the Far East
80
PART IV
83
THE MAPPING OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE
136
Mapping the Enlightenment City
150
PART VI
185
Mapping Geology Climate and Weather
198
Cartoversies
212
Copyright

ART DIRECTOR Michael Whitehead Islamic Regional Mappings
72

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2003)

John Rennie Short is a professor of Geography at the University of Maryland, and is a leading authority in geographic studies.

Bibliographic information