Books showcasing beautiful cartography

You know that maps in books can help your readers understand your story, clearly show geography, and give important spatial context – whether for fiction or non-fiction books.

But there are many books that are collections of maps – contemporary, historical, and ancient – and these are my favourites.

Mapping the World atlas and 4 volumes of NACIS Atlas of Design

Atlas of Design

I’m a member of NACIS (North American Cartographic Information Society), and every two years they publish the beautiful Atlas of Design. These books are collections of diverse maps – geospatial research, infographics, cartography. There are trail maps, world maps, fantasy maps, hand-drawn maps, and more.

I happily spend time poring over these volumes and getting inspiration. You can see the maps online at their website, and order some of them and get on the waitlist for others which are currently out of print. I’m on the waitlist for volume 4, and am eagerly awaiting the upcoming volume 6.

Maps of exploration

Years ago I belonged to the Folio Society and filled my shelves with wonderful books. One of them was a book called “Mapping the World”. I love the artwork on the cover

Because of my love of Mediterranean archaeology and history, my favourite maps are the ancient and medieval ones. An Arab geographer named al-Idrisi created dozens of maps, like this one of north Africa and the Mediterranean from 1154, based on Ptolemy’s geography but with south at the top of the map.

These maps were all designed to show information that the geographers and designers thought was most important – so, in essence, custom maps

Do you want a custom map for your book?

Contact me for a free, no-obligation consultation to talk about maps for your publications. If there’s a map style you want that is not my specialty, I can refer you to some of my colleagues.

Please follow and share on LinkedInInstagram, and Facebook.

Subscribe to get the next newsletter delivered to your email inbox