Maps in those days

Cartographic methods before 1850

J.H. Andrews

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ISBN: 978-1-84682-188-2
July 2009. 576pp; ills.

For some years the emphasis in map-historical literature has been either on traditional cartobibliography or on various cultural, social and ideological aspects of the mapping process. By contrast, few recent books have described what early cartographers actually did. Maps in those days addresses this question. It deals with non-thematic maps of all kinds and of all parts of the world from earliest times to the mid-19th century, with particular reference to classical antiquity, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment in Europe and in countries of European settlement, especially Britain and Ireland. A brief introduction to map history is followed by a review of the scientific or pseudo-scientific presuppositions that cartographers have brought to their task. Later chapters deal with different phases of production – sketching, instrumental surveying, plotting and projection. The contents of topographical, military, exploratory and maritime maps are distinguished, and consideration is given to methods of relief representation and to placenames. Production then gives way to presentation as maps are seen in the course of being copied, re-compiled, edited and embellished. This book should interest researchers who use early maps as historical sources as well as connoisseurs of cartography for its own sake.

J.H. Andrews was formerly an associate professor in the department of geography, Trinity College, Dublin.