The credit for finding the book On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks goes entirely to my sister, she has a knack for finding really interesting and off the wall non-fiction books to read and this one is no exception! I was really skeptical on how a book about maps could be so interesting but it sucked me in right away.
The author, Simon Garfield, highlighted the fact how maps shaped history and are incorporated into our daily lives without us even noticing it. I don’t know about you but I use the maps on my phone AT LEAST three times a week. One funny anecdote from the book is how Google almost started a war in Central America because they accidentally moved a border line a couple of miles! How crazy is that!?
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In addition to modern-day mapping, he discusses historical maps such as the medieval Mappa Mundi (probably my favorite). This book made me realize that geography and cartography show us how people viewed the world around them and it is a fabulous tool to understanding peoples of the past and present.
Read more on Atlas Obscura: “Escape Into These Fantastical, Imaginary Maps”
My most favorite part of this book had to be the fictional maps, hello Lord of the Rings! I don’t know about you but having a map really helps you get sucked into a fictional world. He talked about maps for Grand Theft Auto, Skyrim, Neverland, Tolkin, and so so many more!
And of course, after finish reading this book I promptly bought these two books on maps & started a little mapping project for our house:
- A History of the World in 12 Maps by Jerry Brotton
- Great Maps: The world’s masterpieces explored and explained by Jerry Brotton