Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds
By Ian Wright
ELEVATOR PITCH: Maps can tell you far more than where borders and beaches are located. This book’s illustrations, drawn from Ian Wright’s popular website brilliantmaps.com, use creative cartography to highlight assorted facts and figures. For example, one map delineates gold reserves per person world-wide. Another shows average male height by country.
VERY BRIEF EXCERPT: “‘Countries with no rivers’ (see page 176) also promises a shift in the way we look at resources and geography: While you might expect a few small countries not to have rivers, there are actually some really big ones that do not contain a single river.”
SURPRISING FACTOID: Luxembourg is big! Big enough to contain Liechtenstein, Malta, Andorra, San Marino, Singapore and Monaco within its borders.
Atlas of Vanishing Places
By Travis Elborough
ELEVATOR PITCH: This history-rich book is organized into four sections—Ancient Cities, Forgotten Lands, Shrinking Places and Threatened Worlds. With varied maps and photos, author Travis Elborough tells the stories of urban centers long erased (e.g. the Roman city of Timgad in Algeria) and places that are eroding before our eyes (e.g. Dead Sea, Venice).
VERY BRIEF EXCERPT: “Old maps, though, can provide us with the chance to do a spot of time travel, journeying as our ancestors have done through cities, kingdoms and whole empires that no longer exist.”
SURPRISING FACTOID: The lost ancient Greek city of Helike, often associated with the legend of Atlantis, was found farther inland than almost anyone expected in 2001.
Airline Maps: A Century of Art and Design
By Mark Ovenden and Maxwell Roberts
ELEVATOR PITCH:Ever since the first commercial flight more than a century ago, airlines have used route maps not only to inform fliers, but also to tantalize them. This collection of flight paths and ads inspires a heady case of wanderlust.
VERY BRIEF EXCERPT: “Delta Airlines can trace its roots to the world’s first aerial crop spraying, in 1924, around the Mississippi Delta. The name Delta Air Service was taken in 1928. By the time of this jolly map in 1946, it had developed into a sizable commercial passenger network.”
SURPRISING FACTOID: By 1935, KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines cut the flight time from Amsterdam to Batavia (Jakarta) from 12 days to five and a half, with 21 refueling stops.
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