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The Story of Maps Paperback – 27 Mar 2003
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É um livro interessante. Tem um boa bibliografia para consultas e aprofundamentos.
Para aqueles que buscam um livro que permita entender a história do mapa e os elementos que ajudaram a construir a ciência cartográfica e geográfica, recomendo a leitura. Para aquele que fugiram das aulas, o mapa veio primeiro que as ciências (geografia e cartografia)!
Destaco dois capítulos que são quase inexistentes na literatura brasileira, principalmente para os geógrafos, a evolução do conhecimento antigo para a técnica cartográfica e sobre o sistema de localização/orientação latitude e longitude.
Brown is an excellent writer who shows everyone's views and beliefs even though they might be wrong but that is history. That makes the book more interesting because back then they thought everything was explored and there was no more advancement in technology but they're were wrong. Maybe now there is more to explore in the world and technology can advance. Brown shows and tells how cartography expanded and evolved through out history. Lloyd A. Brown writes a book worth its read only or mostly if you are interested in history, cartography and mythology and astrology. The book maybe long but its very interesting how Brown uses words of people, pictures of old maps and facts to make a wonderful book showing the history and evolution of map making.
Its main strength is the detail of description of social conditions, especially in terms of trade and empires from the 1500s and onwards, and how this impacted mapmaking and cartography. Thus, it does not present the "science" of it in isolation. It is also very good at describing the achievements of major figures in cartography, especially Ptolemy, Mercator and John Harrison. For all these, it's definitely a worthwhile read.
And now to the flaws. It contains TOO much social context and not enough science (I think) to be a standalone work in cartography. There is much discussion on longitude and latitude but nothing on the mechanics of projections and surveying - two very important gaps. The book also seems to perpetuate the myth (or at least the exaggeration) that most people in Europe believed in a flat earth for a very long time in the middle ages. It greatly exaggerates this devoting many pages to showing how stupid the medievals were by pointing to several authors/mapmakers. The reality is that while some of them were, looking at a T and O map (or any symbollic medieval map) and figuring that the creator was a flat-earther is jumping to comclusions. Also, these authors seem to have been much lower in prominence than suggested. The book never states then how Europe "snapped out" of this belief again, the spherical earth just kinda reappears on the pages at some point WAY after the most conservative estimate of when this reappearance would have occured if it did.
Ultimately, this is a good work but very dated in terms of its scholarly approach and the rest. Even the seemingly tangential statement by the author that a Jewish teacher called Jesus was put to death by the Sanhedrin with Pilate merely tacitly approving or not stopping it shows that the text is a product of its time.
With a grain of salt, much can be gleaned from this. Without such a grain, there are probably a host of better introductions to cartography.
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