New books for cartographers

January 2017 – May 2017

Submitted by Julie Sweetkind-Singer: 

Assistant Director of Geospatial and Cartographic Services

Head, Branner Earth Sciences Map Library & Map Collections: Stanford University


Ukraine under Western Eyes: the Bohdan and Neonila Krawciw Ucrainica Map Collection

By Steven Seegel Cambridge, Mass: Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 2011 ISBN: 978-1-932650-04-4

From Neilsen Book Data: “Ukrainian scholar and journalist Bohdan Krawciw. Krawciw traced the physical and aesthetic depiction of Ukraine across its changing borders as a means of self-recognition and as a cultural and political history of the contested nation and its peoples. As part of his personal archive, Krawciw’s maps were bequeathed to Harvard University upon his death in 1975. This book serves as both a catalog of his collection and a description of how the maps he collected serve as an invaluable source for Ukraine’s history and a symbol of Ukrainian national identity.”


Mapping the Indian Ocean

By Babul Dey: Kolkata, India: Institute of Social and Cultural Studies, 2015 ISBN: 978-81-925557-9-9

Mapping the Indian Ocean was published to coincide with the international conference entitled, “India and the Indian Ocean: Renewing the Maritime Trade & Civilization Linkages” in March 2015.  This book, entirely in English, covers the time period from 1050 CE to 1850.  There are a few short essays on the history of the mapping of this region and the role of the Indian Ocean in world history.  This is followed by full color pictures of nearly 100 maps illustrating the cartographic depiction of the region over time.


Maps of War: Mapping Conflict through the Centuries

By Jeremy Black: Conway Bloomsbury, 2016 ISBN: 978-1-8448-6344-0

Jeremy Black discusses the history of mapping conflicts from the 16th century where the first notions of military mapping are developed to the modern day period using satellites and digital technologies.  The book is heavily illustrated with photographs, maps, and views in full color.  An interesting and sobering look at warfare mapping.


Great City Maps: A Historical Journey through Maps, Plans, and Paintings

By Sam Atkinson, Senior Editor: London: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2016: ISBN: 978-0-2412-3898-1

This coffee table book includes specific chapters on ancient cities, medieval training centers, imperial capitals, colonial cities, ideal cities, and megacities.  The book follows the format of DK’s popular and previously released Great Maps: The World’s Masterpieces Explored and Explained.  Each map description covers a multi-page spread with the whole map shown as well as detailed highlights of certain parts of the map with descriptions to give historical content and context to allow for a deeper understanding of the material.


China at the Center: Ricci and Verbiest World Maps

By Natasha Reichle, Editor: San Francisco: Asian Art Museum, 2016. ISBN: 9780939117727

From the back cover: “Global exploration in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries led to new interactions between Europe and Asia.  Jesuit priests were instrumental in spreading knowledge of the world to China and information about China to Europe.  China at the Center focuses on two masterpieces of seventeenth-century map-making – the 1602 world map by Matteo Ricci and the 1674 world map by Ferdinand Verbiest – that illustrate this exchange of information.”  The book accompanies the exhibit at the Asian Art Museum in 2016.  It includes separate chapters on both maps.


Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas

By Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Shapiro:  Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2016. ISBN: 9780-520-285941

Rebecca Solnit, together with Joshua Jelly-Shapiro, has come out with the third book in her series of city atlases, this one focusing on New York City.  The book follows the now-familiar layout of an essay accompanied by a map drawn specifically to focus on interesting and surprising aspects of the City.  Maps focus on wide ranging topics such as whaling, climate change, economic crises, the Jewish experience, the City of Women, and the Bronx, and maps of childhood.  A must for anyone interested in New York City or this set of wonderful unique atlases.


Art and Optics in the Hereford Map

By Maria Kupfer: New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2016: ISBN: 9780-300-22033-9

From the dust jacket: “A single monumental mappa mundi (world map), made around 1300 for Hereford Cathedra, survives intact from the Middle Ages.”  Kupfer argues persuasively in her full color book that one must understand the visual codes on the map – optical conceits and perspectival games – in order to fully appreciate its intellectual and art-historical genealogy.  This well-illustrated book is useful for those who want to understand this dense, interesting map.


Cartographics: Designing the Modern Map

Edited by Lin Shijan: Hong Kong: SandPoints Publishing Co, Ltd., 2016. ISBN: 978-988-14703-3-1

This heavily illustrated volume follows after numerous books highlighting the overlap between cartography and art.  As Jasmine Desclaux-Salachas notes in the introduction, “Cartographics…ushers in a new and advanced understanding of mapping which links diverse disciplines through the use of observation, data, technological innovation, collage, and illustration.”  The book is divided into two sections, mapping the physical environment and mapping human activity.  Each map is accompanied by a short description.  It’s a beautiful book that shows how cartography, technology and art overlap in interesting ways.

Early Dutch Maritime Cartography: The North Holland School of Cartography (c.1580 – c. 1620)

By Günter Schilder: Leiden: Brill Hes & De Graaf, 2017. ISBN: 9789004338029

Günter Schilder has continues to write authoritative books on the history of Dutch cartography.  This time he has focused on maritime cartography from the North Holland School of Cartography.  He delves deeply into the history of mapping by the pioneer, Lucas Jansz. Waghenaer, reviews the mapping of the coasts beyond Europe, studies 16th century cartography of the Mediterranean, and continues through time to the mapping by Joris Carolus as he followed exploration in the 1600s.


 Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line

Edited by Tom Harper: London: British Library, 2016 ISBN: 978-0-7123-5661-9

This book is a companion to the British Library’s exhibition by the same name in 2016-2017.  It is not a catalog of the exhibit and can be read independently.  With five chapters, it provides a fascinating history of 20th century mapping.  It is arranged around themes: war and cartography, maps and peace, everyday maps, maps and money, and movement.  Each chapter is written by an expert in the area and is illustrated in full color.


Reviews from Society members and its journal “Calafia”


Maphead, Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks, Ken Jennings, Scribners, 2011, hardcover, 276 pages, index, notes, list $25.00, Amazon approx. $15.00. REVIEW

Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, Rebecca Solnit, Berkeley, Univ. of Calif. Press, 2010, 144 pp. ISBN 978-0-520-26250-8, heavy weight paperback, $24.95 list, Amazon $16.47, also available in hardcover.  REVIEW


Designed Maps: A Sourcebook for GIS Users, Cynthia A. Brewer, ESRI Press, Redlands, 2008, ISBN 978-1-58948-160-2, paperback, 184 pages, list $39.95, Amazon $20.03.   REVIEW

MAY 2011

Four Colors Suffice: How the Map Problem Was Solved, Robin Wilson, Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford, 2002, hardcover, ISBN 0-691-11533-8, list $24.95, Amazon $20.48 REVIEW

Strange Maps: an Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities, Frank Jacobs, Viking Studio, 2009, soft cover, ISBN 978-0-14-200525-5, list $30.00, Amazon $19.80 REVIEW

MARCH 2011

George Washington’s America: A Biography through his Maps, Barnet Schecter, Walker & Co., New York, 2010,
hardcover, 13-1/4” x 10-1/4”, ISBN 978-0-8027-1748-1. List $67.50, Amazon $33 REVIEW



Euskal Herria Museoa, Kartografia Bilduma • Colección Cartográfica • Collection Cartographique • The Map Collection, Diputación Foral de Bizkaia, 2010, Hardcover, 29 x29 cm + 1 CD. ISBN: 9788477524595, 35.00€. REVIEW

Los Angeles in Maps, Glen Creason, Rizzoli International, New York, 2010, ISBN-13: 978-0-8478-3391-7, list $50, Amazon $31.05 REVIEW

Magnificent Maps, Power, Propaganda and Art, Peter Barber and Tom Harper, The British Library, 2010, ISBN 978 07123 5092 1, List $45, Amazon $35.64 REVIEW


Catálogo de catografía, cosmografía, náutica y navegación de la Biblioteca de la Sociedad Bilbaina, Sociedad Bilbaina, Bilbao, 2009, Hardbound, 269 Pages, text in Spanish. ISBN 978-84-613-3077-5. € 30 REVIEW


Planisferio o Carta General de la Tierra, Madrid 1800,  W. Michael Mathes, Ediciones Jose Porrua Turanzas, Madrid, 2009, in Spanish. REVIEW

MAY 2009

The Fabric of America, Andro Linklater, Walker & Company 2007, ISBN 10082715338, Paperback, available new from Amazon for $10.87.  REVIEW   


Transit Maps of the World, the World’s First Collection of Every Urban Train Map on Earthby Mark Ovenden, Second Edition, 2007, Penguin Books, paperback, 144 pages all in color, $25.00 list (Amazon, $16.50).  REVIEW   

Maps & Civilization, Cartography in Culture and Society, Third Edition, by Norman J. W. Thrower, University of Chicago Press, 2008, paperback, 352 pages incl. Notes, definitions, references, $25.00 everywhere.  REVIEW   


The Island at the Center of the World,Russell Shorto, Doubleday, 2004, 384 pp, ISBN 0385503490, $18.70  REVIEW   

JULY 2008

Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America, Benjamin Woolley, Harper Collins Publishers (2007), ISBN 978-0-06-00956-2, paperback. List price $16.95.  REVIEW   

APRIL 2008

Drawing the Line, Mark Monmonier, Henry Holt and Company, 1995,
ISBN 0805025812 (available used from Amazon for as little as $2.00)  REVIEW   


Historical Atlas of California with Original Maps by Derek Hayes, University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, 2007, ISBN 978-0-520-25258-5, cloth:alk. paper, dust jacket, 256 pages, incl. Catalog of Maps, bibliography, index, 476 maps, all in color, 13 x 10 inches, list price $39.95, Amazon $26.37  REVIEW   

Star Maps, History, Artistry, and Cartography, by Nick Kanas, M.D., Springer-Praxis Books, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, ISBN 978-0-387-71668-8, paperback, 382 pp. incl. appendices, index, b&w and color illustrations, list $34.95, Amazon $23.07.  REVIEW   


The Mapmakers’ Quest, David Buisseret, Oxford University Press, 2003, 227 pp, ISBN 019210053X, $24.50   REVIEW   

Mapping and Empire: Soldier-Engineers on the Southwestern Frontier, Edited by Dennis Reinhartz and Gerald D. Saxon, University of Texas Press 2005, ISBN 0292706596,  $33.20  REVIEW   

MAY 2007

The Mapping of North America, by Philip D. Burden, Raleigh Publications, Rickmansworth, Herts, England, 1996,    ISBN 0 9527733 0 9.  A Cartobibliography of 410 maps of the Americas from the untitled map of Peter Martyr d’Anghiera, Seville, 1511 through Pietro Todeschi’s America noviter delineate….,  Bologna, c.1670.  A work of 568 pages, each map is described with a legible size illustration. This is meant to be a complete listing of all known printed maps now in existence.   REVIEW   

Atlas Maior of 1665, “The Greatest and Finest Atlas ever Published”, by Joan Blaeu, Taschen, Barnes & Noble, New York, Sept. 2006, 416 pages, introduction and text by Peter van der Krogt, ISBN 0760782067, on sale at for $24.98 plus shipping.  REVIEW   

MARCH 2007

Cuatro Siglos de Expresiones Geograficas del Ostmo Centroamericano. Four Centuries of Geographic Expressions of the Central American Isthmus, 1500-1900. Jens P. Bornholt, 2007, Universidad Francisco Marroqui, Guatemala, ISBN 99922-799-5-8, hard cover, 205 pp, maps, foldouts, biographies, glossary, bibliography, $80 US, not yet available on Amazon.  REVIEW   


Representing the Republic, by John Rennie Short, Reaktion Books Ltd., 2001, ISBN 1861890869,256 pages, $24.50   REVIEW


Changing Faces, Changing Places: Mapping Southern Californians, by James P. Allen and Eugene Turner, The Center for Geographical Studies, CSUN, 2002, ISBN 0965696626 (pbk.), 60 pages, $24.95   REVIEW

Degrees of Latitude: Mapping Colonial America, by Margaret Beck Pritchard and Henry G. Taliaferro, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2002, ISBN 0810935392, 434 pages with 283 illustrations (including 159 plates in full color), $95.  REVIEW

The True Story of How America Got Its Name, by Rodney Broome, MJF Books, 2001, ISBN 1567315453, 188 pages, $7.95.   REVIEW

JUNE 2003

A Wilderness So Immense: The Louisiana Purchase and the Destiny of America,by Jon Kukla, Alfred A Knopf, 2003, 430 pages with illustrations, maps and treaty texts, $30. REVIEW

Measuring America, by Andro  Linklater, Walker & Co., 2002, ISBN0802713963, 320 pages.   REVIEW

Mercator: The Man Who Mapped The Planet, by Nicholas Crane, Henry Holt & Co., 2003, ISBN 0805066241, 320 pages.   REVIEW

The Mismapping of Americaby Seymour I. Schwartz, University of Rochester Press, 2003, ISBN 1-58046-129-8, 233 pages.   REVIEW

Tracks in the Sea: Matthew Fontaine Maury and the Mapping of the Oceans,by Chester G. Hearn, McGraw Hill, 2002, ISBN0071368264, 288 pages    REVIEW

Mapping The West, America’s Westward Movement 1524-1890, by Paul E. Cohen with introduction by David Rumsey, Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., New York, 2002, ISBN 0-8478-2492-6, 205 pages with bibliography, prints, and maps in full color, $50   REVIEW

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