Monday, June 03, 2013

On The Map

I was given, and read, On The Map by Simon Garfield. I don't know what I was expecting, but this wasn't it.  The first half is a history of cartography, and a pretty engaging one.  The second half is digressions about maps, in roughly chronological order so that one can pretend it's still a formal history.  If that sounds like criticism, it's not.  The second half, with chapters long and short about WWII maps, maps of imaginary places, brain mapping, Googlemaps, videogaming, map theft, women's maps, and mapping Mars, is actually a lot more fun.  He gets some emphases wrong in the neurological and wayfinding sections, and his politics leak out a bit toward the end, but nothing problematic. Fun read.

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