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This books covers just about all aspects of maps. While I'm not a map collector, maps have always been intoxicating for me and this book is the back story. It's amazing what people have accomplished! "On The Map" is full of history on exploration, cartography, collecting, dealing, and fraud to present day mapping with satellites, gaming, and contemporary art. So if you like maps and you like history, this book is for you!
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On the Map is filled with wonder - at our world and beyond and how man/woman has tried to capture the three dimensional in two. Garfield never misses the opportunity for a touch of humor and also never misses the placing of an apt analogy at the right point.
The reading is lively and modulated in the right places.
An interesting topic, no doubt, and for the first two-thirds of the book, an informative historical guide to the evolution of cartography. The why?, when?, who? and how? of map making is traced from the time of the Roman Empire through to the modern day with all the important pit stops along the way; The Mapa Mundi (which gets too much attention), Ptolemy, the growth of navigation charts in the late 15th and 16th centuries and the later maps of Mercator that informed how world maps look today.
The story highlights many of the absurdities that cartographical development promoted, with the author describing assiduously the defects and the reasons for their inclusion/perpetuation.
The end third or so of the book is a more casual introduction to modern map trade, concentrating on particular dealers and their individual approaches. To be honest, it is not particularly interesting and could have been far more succinct.
The narrator has a clipped, standard English accent and completes his task competently. Easy enough to listen to.
Not a bad listen, probably one of the better recent books on the subject of maps for the general reader.
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