BOOK REVIEW: Map: Exploring the World

Map: Exploring the World

Phaidon Editors with an introduction by John Hessler and contributors including Daniel Crouch, Susan Schulten and Kenneth Field

Published by Phaidon (£39.95)
ISBN: 9780714869445

MAP flat cover

This truly is a book that celebrates the idea of maps for it looks at them in many contexts whether real or imagined such as Columbus’s line drawing of the coast of the New World or Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island map. There are also maps by contemporary artists, including Grayson Perry and Ai Weiwei.

Daylight Map, 2005, Olafur Eliasson Neon, sintra box, transformers, controllers, sequencer, timers, 122 x 254 x 15.2 cm / 48 x 100 x 6 in., private collection Courtesy of the artist, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / photo: Tanya Bonakdar Galler

Daylight Map, 2005, Olafur Eliasson Neon,
sintra box, transformers, controllers, sequencer, timers, 122 x 254 x 15.2 cm / 48 x 100 x 6 in., private collection
Courtesy of the artist, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / photo: Tanya Bonakdar Galler

 

Tweetping, 2013, Franck Ernewein Digital, dimensions variable Credit: Tweetping.ne

Tweetping, 2013, Franck Ernewein
Digital, dimensions variable
Credit: Tweetping.ne

The maps are arranged in specially curated pairings of common themes which may be complementary or contrasting.  It adds to the excitement and draws you in to look closely at them.  For example a recent digital map of Africa, using mobile phone data, to predict the spread of Ebola is foiled by an 1854 map of London by John Snow that shows the spread of cholera.

Map of the River Nile from its Estuary South to Cairo, 1525, Piri Reis Ink and pigments on paper, 34 x 24 cm / 13 3⁄8 x 9 3⁄8 in., Walters Art Museum, Baltimore Credit: The Walters Art Museum

Map of the River Nile from its Estuary South to Cairo, 1525, Piri Reis
Ink and pigments on paper, 34 x 24 cm / 13 3⁄8 x 9 3⁄8 in., Walters Art Museum, Baltimore
Credit: The Walters Art Museum

 

Willamette River, Oregon, 2013, Daniel Coe Printed on paper, 43 x 96.5 cm / 17 x 38 in., private collection Credit: Daniel E. Coe, courtesy of Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries

Willamette River, Oregon, 2013, Daniel Coe
Printed on paper, 43 x 96.5 cm / 17 x 38 in., private collection
Credit: Daniel E. Coe, courtesy of Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries

The book chart’s five thousand years of cartographic development in the world, reflecting changing boundaries, religions, geography and technology.  It relates the story and aspirations of mankind and is a book which you will definitely want to explore time and time again – and you won’t have to leave your armchair!

 

Panoramic View of Wutaishan, 1846, Gelong Lhündrup Hand-coloured woodcut, 144 x 194.6 cm / 4 ft 10 3/4 in x 6 ft 4 3/4 in. Rubin Museum of Art, New York Credit: Rubin Museum of Art

Panoramic View of Wutaishan, 1846, Gelong Lhündrup
Hand-coloured woodcut, 144 x 194.6 cm / 4 ft 10 3/4 in x 6 ft 4 3/4 in. Rubin Museum of Art, New York
Credit: Rubin Museum of Art

 

Come All the Way! (Caminos Santiago), 2011, Cinta Arribas Printed paper, 70 x 87 cm / 27 1/2 x 34 1/4 in., private collection Credit: Cinta Arribas

Come All the Way! (Caminos Santiago), 2011, Cinta Arribas
Printed paper, 70 x 87 cm / 27 1/2 x 34 1/4 in., private collection
Credit: Cinta Arribas

http://www.phaidon.com/mapbook/

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