This month sees Sotheby’s sale of a selection of rare and extraordinary maps, as well as the release of Phaidon’s new book Map: Exploring the World. Ranging from the oldest surviving examples from the 5th and 6th centuries BC, to the modern day, maps have expanded beyond their utilitarian origins to be used as propaganda, to chart planets, and now have become digital. In an age when a map of the entire world is instantly available on a smartphone, maps retain a fascination: no longer plotting just the external world, but also the internal. Here is a selection that chart the extraordinary evolution of cartography.
MAP: EXPLORING THE WORLD, PUBLISHED BY PHAIDON. AVAILABLE NOW. £39.95.