Great Maps takes a close look at the history of maps, from ancient maps such as medieval mappae mundi to Google Earth. Why do we put north at the top of maps? Which maps show us the way to Heaven, and which show the "land of no sunshine" or the land of "people with no bowels"? In Great Maps, author and historian Jerry Brotton tells the hidden story behind more than 60 of the most significant maps from around the world, picking out key features, stories, and techniques in rich visual detail to reveal the inner meaning buried within the landscape.
Maps are not just geographical data: they reflect a particular ideological, historical, or cultural context. Providing a unique insight into how mapmakers have used maps to shape and depict their world view, this beautifully illustrated book traces the development of human development and culture through its maps. From the earliest rock carvings to the latest geospatial technology, from ancient medieval mappae mundi to the first road atlas, Great Maps explores in stunning photographic detail how maps have influenced and reflected our world throughout history.
Jerry Brotton is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary University of London, and a leading expert in the history of maps and Renaissance cartography. He is the author of A History of the World in Twelve Maps and The Sale of the Late King's Goods: Charles I and His Art Collection, which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Hessell Tiltman History Prize. He also presented the BBC television series Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession.