Book review: On the Map, By Simon Garfield


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The Independent Culture

Garfield's panoramic, erudite and enjoyable survey of cartography begins with Facebook's map of the world (2010; but where's Africa?) and Eratosthenes in third-century BC Alexandria.

Then as now, maps often select and distort, whatever their technology. Beyond the politically-charged history of cartography itself, he traces lines that lead from the Tube and Monopoly to satnav and neuroscientific brain-maps.

As for reputed gender differences: women, it seems, prefer almost 3D or highly pictorial maps rather than those flat male lines.