Why North Is Up

Map Conventions and Where They Came From

Mick Ashworth

Why North Is Up

Mick Ashworth

Distributed for Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

224 pages | 108 color plates | 7 x 9 | © 2019
Cloth $30.00 ISBN: 9781851245192 Published November 2019 For sale in North America only
Many people have a love of maps. But what lies behind the process of map-making? How have cartographers through the centuries developed their craft and established a language of maps which helps them to better represent our world and help users to understand it?

This book tells the story of how widely accepted mapping conventions originated and evolved—from map orientation, projections, typography, and scale, to the use of color, symbols, ways of representing relief, and the treatment of boundaries and place names. It charts the fascinating story of 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. Why North is Up offers an accessible and enlightening guide to the sometimes hidden techniques of map-making through the centuries.
 
Review Quotes
Jerry Brotton, author of A History of the World in 12 Maps
"Elegantly written and beautifully illustrated, Why North is Up tells you everything you need to know about the signs, symbols and science behind map-making. It will also reveal a few things you didn’t know about maps. Essential reading for any map lover."
 
Mike Parker, author of Map Addict and Mapping the Roads
"In this handsome and informative book, Mick Ashworth picks through the conventions that have shaped cartography thus far, in a lively narrative augmented by lavish illustrations of the maps in question. For map addicts and casual bystanders alike, this is a terrific work that both entertains and enlightens."
 
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
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