Simon Garfield’s new book “On the Map” is a whirlwind tour of the realm of maps, some familiar and some just downright out of this world.
The early chapters of the book cover the obligatory details of all map histories: Ptolemy’s map of the world, the Mappa Mundi and the mapping of the New World. It was the latter chapters, however, to which I was particularly drawn. Here we find tales of map thieves, the mapping of the brain – and with the prevalence of Wi-Fi and GPS devices, the fascinating and frightening mapping of human behavior.
The most interesting observation to me was of where people always look first when given a new map, digital or otherwise. Give people the world and they look for their town or their own home. It is human nature to try to understand our place in the world, and maps give us a unique perspective.
The library’s map collection includes the popular topographic and forest service maps of the Flathead, used mostly for recreational trips. But we also have various historical maps going back to 1894. If you are a local history buff, you might want to stop by and take a look.
Our latest map endeavor at the library is attempting to pin the long-vanished community of Egan on the map. If anyone out there knows just where Egan lay, please let us know.
ImagineIF Libraries encourage exploration, fresh ideas and self-discovery. Learn more at www.imagineiflibraries.org.
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