(Roughly) Daily

“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing.”*…

Peter Barber, Head of Map Collections at the British Library, has written a companion piece to the BL’s exhibition “Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art,” his personal selection of ten of the greatest– “Ten Maps that Changed the World“; for example:

click here for enlargement

The infant USSR was threatened with invasion, famine and social unrest. To counter this, brilliant designers such as Dimitri Moor were employed to create pro-Bolshevik propaganda.

Using a map of European Russia and its neighbours, Moor’s image of a heroic Bolshevik guard defeating the invading ‘Whites’ helped define the Soviet Union in the Russian popular imagination.

From the Henricus Martellus World Map (1490– used to convince Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile to support Columbus), the Evesham WorldMap (1400- the birth of English nationalism and patriotism– think Henry V and Agincourt), and the Chinese Globe (1623– exaggerated the size of China and placed it in the middle of a world that otherwise consisted mainly of small off-shore islands) to the London Underground Map and Google Earth, see them all.

(TotH to Flowing Data)

* Oscar Wilde

As we turn to plot our courses, we might recall that it was on this date in 1865, in the market square of Springfield, Missouri, that Wild Bill Hickok shot and killed Davis Tutt in what is regarded as the first true western showdown.

The victor

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