Art and Cartography: Six Historical Essays. David Woodward, ed. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1987. 249 pp. $65.

From a scientific perspective, a map represents the distillation of all available scientific data about an area into a single graphic representation. From an artistic perspective, a map communicates philosophical ideas or feelings. Cartography represents a superb example of the interface between art and science.

Art and Cartography, a collection of six essays by humanists, scientists and a museum curator, should be of interest to a wide audience. The essays are not meant to be comprehensive or even closely coordinated, but rather to stimulate thought. They dispel the stereotype that art only serves an ornamental role and thus is not needed on modern maps that rely on precise scientific data. Maps are seen as composites of graphic elements that reveal the cultural context of their origin. As styles and techniques in...

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