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On The Map: Why the world looks the way it does Hardcover – 4 Oct 2012
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Praise for Just My Type
'Every so often someone writes a book about an obscure subject and uses it to illuminate the rest of the world... this is one of the best(William Leith Evening Standard)
After being walked through these stories, it's difficult to even look at a cereal packet in the same way again (Observer)
This is a smart, funny, accessible book that does for typography what Truss's Eats, Shoots & Leaves did for punctuation (New York Times)
Advance Praise for On the Map: Just when you think there have been enough books written on maps, the best one comes along (Patrick Neale, Booksellers' Choice The Bookseller)
Will no doubt dominate the Christmas market (Emma Herdman, Booksellers' Choice The Bookseller)
Simon Garfield had great success with Just My Type, so looks certain to repeat this with On the Map. (Sarah Clarke, Booksellers' Choice The Bookseller)
There couldn't be anyone better to write about our love of maps than Simon Garfield, who is a master at unearthing strange facts and mixing them with a lively personal narrative . . . fascinating (Giles Foden Condé Nast Traveller 2012-11-01)
Garfield has a genius for being sparked to life by esoteric enthusiasm and charming readers with his delight. (Iain Finlayson Times 2012-10-06)
Simon Garfield's new book is a rollicking sweep through map history, packed with curiosities and written with verve . . . On the Map will inspire you to take a trip to somewhere new, buy an antique globe to chart the rise and fall of empires, or just dig out a tatty orange Ordnance Survey Explorer map and let its filigree of contour lines evoke a long-forgotten walk in the rain . . . a great book. (Mark Wilson Independent on Sunday 2012-10-07)
A stunning celebration of the cartographic. As one of the UK's leading contemporary polymaths, Garfield's always a joy to read for his gossamer-light show of rigorous learning, his shed-dweller precision in research and his infectious glee in passing on the golden nugget of fact. (Robert Bound Monocle 2012-10-01)
Garfield's genial prose twinkles with the delight of discovery (Tom Hawker Wanderlust 2012-10-01)
A pub quizzer's dream . . . Rather than over-romanticise the experience of map-reading, Garfield allows his varied, expertly researched stories to speak for themselves, and in so doing helps us see that there are fewer things in life more useful, rewarding and beautiful than a map that does what it's supposed to. Perhaps if Apple had read the book a few months ago, today's iPhone users would have a much better idea of where they're going. (David Clack Daily Telegraph 2012-10-27)
He takes us on a fascinating voyage . . . and is a lively companion for the journey. (Douglas Osler Scotsman 2012-11-03)
He hops around the world, ancient and modern, with glee, dispensing information, both learned and chatty. On the Map is informative and entertaining, and good fun . . . fascinating. (John S Doyle Irish Times 2012-11-03)
From Mappa Mundi to Google Maps - the bestselling Just My Type author turns his gaze to maps.
Packed with accompanying map illustrations and images.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Split into short and sharp chapters this is a book that lends itself equally to a solid read through, or as a book to pick through as and when you get the chance. Lavishly illustrated, as the saying goes, I would caution anyone thinking of getting this on Kindle that these illustrations and maps don't reproduce well on the Kindle itself but are fine if using a tablet or the Kindle App on a laptop
I have enjoyed reading this book so gave it three stars, but don't buy it if you need the maps to visualise the story.
The particular strength of this work is in the author's evocation of the human story behind maps, be it the early voyages of Da Gama , Columbus, Marco Polo or Vespucci or the tragic but darkly comical tale of Burke and Wills's exploration of Australia. Especially compelling in this respect is the recount of Snow's mapping of a Victorian cholera outbreak in which cartography is used to confirm beyond doubt, for the first time, that cholera was a water born pathogen rather miasmic.
The book also vividly depicts the lives as well as the works of the creators of the A-Z atlas and the London Underground map. The inventor of the former, Phyllis Pearsall is depicted as a driven woman desperately seeking to restore the reputation of her bankrupt father. The creator of the latter, Harry Beck, is shown to be a forward thinker with a sense of humour, parodying his own work in a manner which has become common place subsequent to his death and established a link between cartography and pop art.
This well researched book appeals to both the geographer and the layperson, covering such diverse subjects as: the comparative mapping abilities of men and women, the role of maps in Empire building and imperial control, politics and the prosecution of the Second World War .The impact of new technologies is imaginatively discussed, with the advent of GPS increasingly leading to an egocentric form of mapping.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you like maps, you'll like this book. I picked it up on a whim and found it fascinating. It covers different facets of cartography and will inform and surprise. Read morePublished 1 month ago by mikelaybourne
This homage to cartography, both old and new, is a delightful meander through time and history.
Covering both the importance of map-making, their impact on exploration... Read more
Brilliant book that is surprisingly very readable. A complete history of mapping. Fascinating. I got it out of the library, read it, drove people nuts by frequently quoting from... Read morePublished 11 months ago by J C Ballard
I bought this as a christmas present for my Dad who is a major map enthusiast and he absolutely loves it. There's so much information in there, including loads of figures. Read morePublished 12 months ago by JNH
When I opened this parcel, I was disappointed with the first impression of the book as it is small and there were very few coloured maps. Read morePublished 12 months ago by penguin
Beautiful book, packed full of interest. On my pile of Berks to read over and over again - and I have...Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
Highly interesting (honest!) book that arrived quickly at a good pricePublished 14 months ago by Pete
A good summary of the maps that have defined the human race from ancient times right through to the future. Very well written in an easy read style. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Dr. Dr. McGrath
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