Book Review: London In Maps, A Changing Perspective

By M@ Last edited 77 months ago
Book Review: London In Maps, A Changing Perspective

Aren't there already enough books about London maps? Apparently not. Following the equally excellent London: A Life in Maps (2006), and Mapping London (2007), we now have London in Maps, A Changing Perspective.

The new book comes from the London Mapping Festival (full disclosure: Londonist is an official supporter, and one of our maps is included within). Its authors, professional cartographers from the Geoinformation Group, have found a different angle in compiling their book. As well as setting out some of the best maps from London's history, they also offer insights into the map-maker's art and science. We find chapters on the importance of aerial photography, modern technologies such as LiDAR and 3-D modelling, and so-called geographic information systems. It's a book that explains the tools of the trade as much as their output.

It's also well-endowed with unusual and intriguing maps you might not have seen before: a telecoms cluster map, London's vegetation map, and an aerodrome map from a time when cross-city flights seemed a possibility. The complexity of seemingly prosaic maps is also explained, such as the plan of the Canary Wharf Estate, which undergoes around 180 changes every year. And plenty of old favourites – Stephen Walter's The Island, the Rocque map of London, Wenceslaus Hollar's Great Fire map – are all present and correct.

At £30, it might be beyond the budget of the casual reader, but it's a highly recommended addition to the bookshelf of any London mapophile...and we can tell from our pageviews that there are plenty of you out there.

London in Maps, A Changing Perspective is out now from the London Mapping Festival. 200 pages, hardcover, full colour. Order today (15 December) to get delivery before Christmas.

Last Updated 15 December 2011

Clare Seldon

Got mine now and enjoying it whole heartedly. Well done to the @lmfest team!