Studying at Reading has given me a major appreciation for the history of design. Recently, I’ve taken a bigger interest in cartography. The BBC has shown a fascinating series on The Beauty of Maps. They are able to conveniently draw from the British Library archive of 4.5 million maps who has had a brilliant exhibition earlier this year. Three particularly interesting maps, in my opinion are:
- Hereford Mappa Mundi, which is the largest existing medieval map made around 1300. (more info here)
- Descelier’s World Map of 1550, which amazingly shows “Australia” – a place that wouldn’t be discovered until much later after its creation. (more info here)
- Serio Comic Map of Europe at War, which is a political satire map made in 1877 by Fred Rose. (more info here)
There are many clips that can be viewed from the BBC’s website and it’s such an interesting perspective to see how people thought and envisioned the world at different points in history. Especially when you compare it to now, where Google Maps is pretty much all we use.