Nick Turner's Reviews > On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks

On the Map by Simon Garfield
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's review
Oct 12, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: imperialism
Read in October, 2012

Confident and fascinating history of the production and uses of maps.


Maps in the Great Library of Alexandria. The subsequent cartographic Dark Age. Why the Americas were named after a man who arrived a year after Columbus. How demographic maps were used to fight disease epidemics.

The final part considers if the cliche that there are sex differences in navigation has any basis in fact. Perhaps the abridger took a shortcut, but I fear that studies of rats and just so stories about presumed (hah!) prehistoric gender roles don't make a strong case either way. The rant against satellite-assisted navigation (quite possibly a fad) seems unnecessary.

I listened to an abridged audio adaptation.
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