Map Addict: A Tale of Obsession, Fudge and the Ordnance Survey

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HarperCollins Publishers, 2010 - Humor - 330 pages
2 Reviews
“My name is Mike and I am a map addict. There, it's said!” Maps not only show the world, they help it turn. On an average day, we will consult some form of map approximately a dozen times, often without even noticing: checking the A-Z, the road atlas, or the Sat Nav, scanning the tube or bus map, a quick Google online, or hours wasted flying over a virtual Earth, navigating a way around a shopping center, watching the weather forecast, planning a walk or a trip, catching up on the news, booking a holiday or hotel. Maps pepper logos, advertisements, illustrations, books, web pages, and newspaper and magazine articles: they are a cipher for every area of human existence. At a stroke, they convey precise information about topography, layout, history, politics, and power. They are the unsung heroes of life, and this guide sings their song. There are some fine, dry tomes out there about the history and development of cartography: this is not one of them. This exploration mixes wry observation with hard fact and considerable research, unearthing the offbeat, the unusual, and the downright pedantic in a celebration of all things maps. In Map Addict, we learn the location of what has officially been named by the OS as the most boring square kilometer in the land; we visit the town fractured into dozens of little parcels of land split between two different countries and trek around many other weird borders of Britain and Europe; we test the theories that the new city of Milton Keynes was built to a pagan alignment and that women can't read maps. Combining history, travel, politics, memoir, and oblique observation in a highly readable, and often very funny, style, Mike Parker confesses how his own impressive map collection was founded on a virulent teenage shoplifting habit, ponders how a good leftie can be so gung-ho about British cartographic imperialism, and wages a one-man war against the moronic blandishments of the Sat Nav age.

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User Review  - Gantois - LibraryThing

This is an truely English book but as a belgian with a passion for maps and cartography I enjoyed reading it. The author focuses mainly on the Ordnance Survey Maps and links history to his personal ... Read full review

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User Review  - jon1lambert - LibraryThing

Interesting and regenerated my interest in maps - but too long and why so many references to the author's sexual orientation? Read full review

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About the author (2010)

\Mike Parker has had a varied career, which at one point saw him working as a stand-up comedian. He has been widely published and also presents various travel programs for radio and television. His books to date include the Rough Guide to Wales as well as several other guide books. He writes freelance travel pieces for most of the UK papers, including the Guardian, the Independent, the Independent on Sunday, the Mirror, and the Sunday Times.

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