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The Art of the Map: An Illustrated History of Map Elements and Embellishmentsby Dennis Reinhartz
Synopses & Reviews
From the crude maps of ancient Babylon to the satellite-fueled precision of Google Maps, cartography has been both a record of dreams and of discoveries. Maps have played midwife to empires, helped win wars, and encouraged humanity to venture beyond boundaries of space and time. Containing numerous maps from the archives of the Royal Geographical Society, Mapping the World tells the story of the philosophers, explorers, artists, and scientists who brought together their skills to produce some of the most intriguing artifacts ever created.
"Historian and professor Reinhartz (The Cartographer and the Literati) presents this beautiful volume of cartographic accouterments, printed on heavy matte paper with colorful illustrations. He begins with a brief overview of various artistic embellishments, from the standard compass rose to stylized wind faces and coats of arms. Reinhartz discusses the age-old relationship between cartography and seafaring, sharing antique maps enhanced with images of ships as well as showcasing differing designs in times of peace and war. The historian's eye also analyzes appearances and depictions of flora, fauna, and strange mythological creatures. Throughout, Reinhartz considers how maps serve as cultural documents and records of human achievements in architecture or military prowess. For instance, 'Cartographic images of ships serve as essential historical sources for naval architecture and activities... The further back in time one looks, the fewer are the sources of technical information on ships and ship-building.' It's easy to lose one's self in the profusion of illustrations, and the text often feels supplementary to the images as the majority of the prose appears in detailed captions, but this collection is a pleasure to peruse and will interest a broad audience, from historians to armchair travelers. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
This lavishly illustrated history of the golden age of cartography, from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries, explores not only the embellishments on maps but also what they reveal about the world in which they were created. Here there be monsters real and imagined; ships actual and archetypical; newly discovered flora such as corn and tobacco; fauna ranging from buffalo to unicorns; godlike beings and fantasy-like depictions of native peoples. The stunningly rendered images illuminate an entire world.
About the Author
Dennis Reinhartz is professor emeritus of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he spent 35 five years as a professor of history and Russian. He has edited and contributed chapters to numerous academic books, including Mapping of Empire: Soldier-Engineers on the Southwest Frontier and The Mapping of the American Southwest. He lives in Santa Fe, NM.
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Engineering » Civil Engineering » Cartography