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Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations

Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations
Author: Vincent Virga - Library of Congress
ISBN 13: 9780316997669
ISBN 10: 316997668
Edition: N/A
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 2007-10-25
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 272
List Price: $60.00

A richly illustrated exploration of maps and mapmaking, Cartographia celebrates the work of those who have mapped the world from the dawn of civilization to the present. In a text that journeys beyond the basic geographical facts, each map becomes a visual record of human endeavor – of diverse cultural, social, and economic landscapes – and each has a tale of wonder to tell. These maps, in their amazingly various forms, are models of time, diaries of intrigue, and illuminating works of art. Together they provide a unique vision of how the world and our understanding of it have changed over the past several centuries.

More than 200 maps, selected from the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress – the largest cartographic collection in the world – are reproduced in this sumptuous volume. Some of the rarest and most spectacular maps ever made are featured here, including:

  • The Waldseemüller Map of the World from 1507, the first to include the designation "America"
  • Pages from Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum of 1570, considered the first modern atlas
  • Rare maps from Africa, Asia, and Oceania that challenge traditional Western perspectives
  • William Faulkner's hand-drawn 1936 map of the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi
  • A 2001 map of the human genome

With their accompanying stories, the vivid color plates in Cartographia introduce the reader to an exciting new way of reading maps as travelogues – as living histories from the earliest imaginings about planet Earth to our current attempts at charting cyberspace, the latest of our "last frontiers."

The New York Times - Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

Clear design, a manageable format, efficient printing and a diverse, dazzling selection of material make Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations a good Christmas stocking-buster or a greedy holiday indulgence. The maps are well chosen for study, ornament and delight.