Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Books on Mapping

If you like maps, graphics, arts and just a lot of really amazing ways to "read" places, then you've got to check out these two books by Katharine Harmon.  Both of these books compile different types of maps, and how they are composed.  Usually, we would think of a map as the ones that involve places with reference to geographic locations.  But if we think of "mapping" as a way of "revealing" something, then the definition of maps goes beyond our typical city map, street map or world map.

It took my quite sometimes too to grasp what "mapping" means.  Think of it this way: when we read a map, we can see specific places, buildings, landmarks that are "chosen" to be shown by the mapper, while certain things are left out.  A street map would be different from a subway map, because some things matter to car drivers, while other things only matter to subway riders.

If we look at it that way, we can start to perceive how bias a map can be.  For example, your map of a city will be different from my map of that same city.  Each of us see the world differently through our own eyes and experiences.  It is through sharing some of our "versions" of the world that we can begin to understand places around us differently.


This one is a booklet of collections of 10 Maps.

10 different maps mapping different things

I got all three from Amazon.


  1. Those are really great books! I do enjoy reading that sort of books, which other folks might perceive as boring, but otherwise for me. Are you taking Geography course at the uni, anyway? Ooh, I am so jealous :P, cause I LOVE Geography. Too bad I'm stuck with Accounting. No pictures in our text books. Boo-hoo.

  2. I too love books like these, lots of drawings and images to look at and think about. No, I'm not taking any geography course. My background is Landscape Architecture (geography is still relevant), and a part of my current research looks into the different ways of 'mapping' the city - as in how we see the world, our cities, and how we occupy them. Haha, no pics in accounting books eh? Then you definitely need to get a book with drawings and images! Check out Keri Smith, she's an illustrator and has really cool fun books. I have two of hers, and I'll post about them later.

  3. Really? I'll be looking forward to reading the blog post about Keri Smith's books :). Wow, Landscape Architecture? Must be very interesting! And your research is very interesting as well! Well, Accounting is sort of fascinating too only too bad the only graphics shown in our books are financial statements and graphs. Bosan sungguh.