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Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities Paperback – October 29, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Studio (October 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142005258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142005255
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.6 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #425,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Randall L. Bytwerk on October 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
Like the author, I like maps, but unlike me, he got bored with the standard variety. He began a web site with the most unusual maps he could find -- from which web site came this book.

It is a remarkable collection. There are maps showing California as an island, of what Africa might have looked like if Germany had won its wars, of countries that never were, of countries that wanted to be bigger than they were, of a proposed reorganization of the U.S. into 38 states, and many more. Some are scary, some funny, some puzzling, some enlightening. Each map has enough background to make it comprehensible.

In the process of enjoying the maps, one learns things. There are islands of Germany surrounded by Belgium. Before the introduction of standard time zones, railroad timetables were much more complicated than they are today. And did you ever wonder why part of Delaware's border is a curve?

This is one of those books that is a pleasure to browse through. One can read it bit by bit, learning something every time.

If you like maps, you'll love this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you regularly read the Strange Maps blog and want to support Frank Jacobs with a few bucks, then this is the way to go. The book compiles the blog entries with nice large photos and un-cluttered text. However, if you're like I am, and like to look things up on the internet as you read about them, the experience of reading one of Frank's stories on the web is vastly different than reading it in a book. The book doesn't add anything to the content already on the web, and you miss out on the links to original sources and cross-references to other Strange Maps stories. If you or someone you know likes well-researched and engaging anecdotes about maps combined with the experience of reading such things in a book, then this one's for you. But if you just want to see some cartographic curiosities and pick up a factoid or two along the way, then perhaps the Strange Maps blog should be your first destination. Then you can decide whether it's worth is to shell out some money to have print copies of all the wonderful maps Frank has collected.
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Format: Paperback
The maps are both historical, fantasy based and several "what if" maps.
Ther is a map of the Land of Oz which is pretty cool. Several early American and colonial era maps have their conversation points. The photographs of some maps are small, and reading the details can be tedious at times. My favourite map is one showing what Europe would like like had Nazi Germany won WWII. Scary, yet very intriguing.

The future is also shown. There are two maps showing the moon walks of Apollo 11 and 12. A fold out map of Mars's moon Deimos reminds us that we are now mapping extra terrestrial locations. A map of Titan's (as of yet) unnamed liquid methane lake is just beyond amazing.

Daniel Padovano
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Format: Paperback
I am a graphic designer and cartographer, so I guess I expected too much. Yeah, negative space is hip right now, but it seems to me that the images are more important than trendy white-space - I'd like to actually see the maps - I am looking at them with a magnifying glass - no, really, I'm serious.

Why would someone use a 12pt font that uses up all the real estate on the page, then squeeze the map on like it's an afterthought - people who buy this book purchased it because they are interested in the MAPS. Some of the images are just plain blurry - and the maps with very little detail fill the 9.25x11" format, yet the maps with the most detail are less than 5x3" - no wonder the preview of this book only shows the front and back.

I could never get away with a finished product like this at work.
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The book is about 80% text, and the book is formatted in such a way that 40% of every page is blank space.

The book is nether particularly informative nor interesting. As a lover of cartography or as someone who is just curious to learn more about the world from a map-makers perspective, you'll not be impressed.
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I can't recommend this book because the maps are not that strange and are crudely drawn. Some of the maps are drawn more like something that you would draw on a napkin to give someone directions. The stories have some interest but not enough to pay the price I paid. I bought this as a gift for my husband who enjoys maps and it is still in the closet. I'm not giving it to him or anyone else.
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I bought Strange Maps for a gift for my dad who LOVES maps. Since it is a larger format book, the images are large enough to view easily enough. While my dad is not the "reading type" and this book has a lot of text to go along with the maps, he couldn't wait to get started on reading it.
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Honestly, I was disappointed with this book. It focuses too much on explaining the maps when the point of maps is to allow the user to figure out the meaning behind the maps. Maybe I didn't like the book because I had already seen the maps while browsing the web; but it didn't seem all that creative of a book. If you seek out maps because you enjoy looking at unique maps then you might want to find a book with maps that you can't find with a simple Google search. If you need an introduction to strange maps, then it might be worth your money. For the seasoned nerd, however, you might want to keep looking...
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