Thoughtful Gifts for Curious People

Why North is Up: Map Conventions and Where They Came From


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In this accessible and enlightening guide read about the history behind map-making. Learn how cartographers through the centuries developed their craft and established a language of maps which helps them to better represent our world and users to understand it – from map orientation, projections, typography and scale, to the use of colour, map symbols, ways of representing relief and the treatment of boundaries and place names.

Fully illustrated, it tells the story of how widely accepted mapping conventions originated and evolved, as well as charting how conventions have changed in response to new technologies and ever-changing mapping requirements, how symbols can be a matter of life or death, why universal acceptance of conventions can be difficult to achieve and how new mapping conventions are developing to meet the needs of modern cartography.

For hardcore cartography fans and for those who just about know where the map app is on their phone, this book is both informative and entertaining.

  • 144 pages
  • c.80 colour illustrations
  • 19.6 x 19.6 cm