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)
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.
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.
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!