The Mapmakers

Revised Edition

Publisher: Vintage
In his classic text, two-time Pulitzer Prize—winner John Noble Wilford recounts the history of cartography from antiquity to the space age. With this revised edition, Wilford brings the story up to the present day, as he shows the impact of new technologies that make it possible for cartographers to go where no one has been before, from the deepest reaches of the universe (where astronomers are mapping time as well as space) to the inside of the human brain. These modern-day mapmakers join the many earlier adventurers–including ancient Greek stargazers, Renaissance seafarers, and the explorers who mapped the American West–whose exploits shape this dramatic story of human inventiveness and limitless curiosity.


Chapter 1

The Map Idea

The origin of the map is lost to history. No one knows when or where or for what purpose someone got the first idea to draw a sketch to communicate a sense of place, some sense of here in relation to there. It must have been many millennia ago, probably before written language. It...
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