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Cheaper by the Dozen
Frank B. Gilbreth Jr., Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks

On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks - Simon Garfield This book was actually great! I really enjoyed it a lot, though I wasn't expecting to, necessarily.

I had expected a sort of chronological survey of human use of maps, and the book does take a loose chronological approach, but it's so much more than that.

Each chapter is about a different type of map, or a different use of maps that humans have found. The chapter on Google mapping was especially interesting. This author takes a pretty dim view of our reliance on GPS and phone maps, though. He's squarely old-school when it comes to affinity for paper maps.

I learned a lot about mapping through human history. He gives a bit of time to non-European mapping in the early chapters, but the book really focuses on European and North American mapping and geographers. I was a bit disappointed that I didn't really learn more about Asian mapping history.

Another fun chapter was the exploration of maps in popular fiction/movies/tv shows. Harry Potter's Marauder's Map made an appearance, as did Tolkien's map of Middle Earth. He also explored the embedded maps in video games such as Grand Theft Auto and Myst, which I really enjoyed.