Cartographies of Travel and Navigation

Front Cover
James R. Akerman
University of Chicago Press, Nov 15, 2010 - Science - 344 pages

Finding one’s way with a map is a relatively recent phenomenon. In premodern times, maps were used, if at all, mainly for planning journeys in advance, not for guiding travelers on the road. With the exception of navigational sea charts, the use of maps by travelers only became common in the modern era; indeed, in the last two hundred years, maps have become the most ubiquitous and familiar genre of modern cartography.

Examining the historical relationship between travelers, navigation, and maps, Cartographies of Travel and Navigation considers the cartographic response to the new modalities of modern travel brought about by technological and institutional developments in the twentieth century. Highlighting the ways in which the travelers, operators, and planners of modern transportation systems value maps as both navigation tools and as representatives of a radical new mobility, this collection brings the cartography of travel—by road, sea, rail, and air—to the forefront, placing maps at the center of the history of travel and movement.

Richly and colorfully illustrated, Cartographies of Travel and Navigation ably fills the void in historical literature on transportation mapping.


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1 Introduction
Itineraries Route Maps and Road Maps
Establishing the Sea Routes to the East Indies
Nineteenth and Early TwentiethCentury American Rail Travel Cartography
5 TwentiethCentury American Road Maps and the Making of a National Motorized Space
The Emergence of Aeronautical Charts in the United States
The Evolution of Automobile Navigation

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About the author (2010)

James R. Akerman is director of the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library, Chicago.

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