Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities

August 7, 2015


Title: Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities
Author: Frank Jacobs
Date/Year: October 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
Reviewer: cartonaut

To kick off Map Book Blog with its first review, this review is for a book that itself started as a blog that resulted in an atlas of curious maps compiled by Frank Jacobs called Strange Maps.

The book and blog have had a large and devoted following and both have been reviewed often and in detail since it was first released almost 6 years ago, so I’m not covering any new ground here.

What is still new in this book is the fresh light of day cast upon obscure oddities of the map world pulled and extracted from old cabinets and books.

Frank Jacobs is part anthropologist and part carnival barker that brings illuminated commentary and curiosity to the two-headed maps of his special side show at the cartographic circus. He unearths relicts, idiosyncratic visions, beauty, and some monstrosities that captivate the map lover’s attention.

In doing so, he reveals much about the people, their/our history, and the nuances of context for the times and events that encapsulated the map’s birth.

This is an entertaining book that enlightens; so if you’re tired of the standard atlas or reading the latest documentation for a JavaScript driven a map service, read on.

Let the show begin.

An interview with Frank Jacobs from PRI back in 2012

You can purchase “Strange Maps” online.

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