How to Draw a Map is a fascinating meditation on the centuries-old art of map-making, from the first astronomical maps to the sophisticated GPS guides of today. Maps have influenced humanity in many unexpected ways: life, death, sexual reproduction, espionage, war and peace.
How to Draw a Map traces the story of mapmaking - cartography - from the first scratchings on the cave wall to the detailed high-tech `navigator'.
This is the story of human conceptions, often misconceptions, of our world.
It is also a very personal story about a mapmaker's journey through life - the exciting new perspectives and the occasional misadventures. Over the last 5,000 years societies and empires have risen and fallen; most, if not all, attempt to record their own visions of our world.
In the 15th century, Europeans developed a global reach with their oceanic ships, exploring outward into the world, revealing new possibilities, peoples and opportunities.
Mapmakers recorded this journey, revealing to us a window into past triumphs and disasters.
The story continues into our own day when diplomats carve up our globe, presenting what we now see as the `modern' world. In How to Draw a Map, father and son cartographers Alexander and Malcolm Swanston demonstrate the skill, creativity and care involved in the timeless art of creating maps - and what these artefacts reveal about the legion of mapmakers who went before us.