Maps That Made History


Few people can resist the appeal of old maps and plans. Even in these days of disposable mapping - from satellite navigation to customized road directions at the click of a mouse - the historical map continues to present a unique perspective on our changing world. Here we explore 25 glorious examples. The emphasis is on the story behind the map: what it reveals about its creator and users, from the first explorers to the railway builders. This thought-provoking collection features maps that chart societies as well as land, sea, and skies; maps that have influenced and inspired; and perhaps most revealing of all, maps that misrepresent.


"Few history lovers can resist old maps and Lez Smart's collection in Maps That Made History: The Influential, The Eccentric and The Sublime will be no exception. The book features full-color maps on nearly every page covering subjects such as a 13th-century map with Christ and angels looming over the world to the London tube map, first created in the 1930s. Each featured map has an explanation along with detailed blow-ups of the image." - History Magazine, September 2005

"Each map in this book's generously illustrated, jewel-toned pages calls forth intriguing stories from the well-stocked mind of British educator Lez Smart." - The Globe and Mail, Saturday, August 6, 2005

About the Author

Lez Smart

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

Lez Smart

Lez Smart is a lecturer in education at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His interests include history and information technology; he has published widely on these subjects as they relate to education. Maps have always been a passion, informing his professional and leisure interests. He lives with his family in South London.