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Book Review: 12 Maps That Changed the World By Uri Friedman Is there such a thing as a perfect map? In June 2012, Brian McClendon, an executive at Google, announced that Google Maps and Google Earth were part of a far loftier pursuit than edging out Apple and Facebook in the map services market. Google, McClendon wrote in a blog post, was engaged in nothing less than a "never-ending quest for the perfect map." "We’ve been building a comprehensive base map of the entire globe—based on public and commercial data, imagery from every level (satellite, aerial and street level) and the collective knowledge of our millions of users," McClendon noted. By strapping cameras to the backs of intrepid hikers, mobilizing users to fact-check map data, and modeling the world in 3D, he added, Google was moving one step closer to mapmaking perfection. It was the kind of technological triumphalism that Jerry Brotton would likely greet with a knowing smile. "All cultures have always believed that the map they valorize is real and true and objective and transparent," Brotton, a professor of Renaissance studies at Queen Mary University of London, told me. "All maps are always subjective.... Even today’s online geospatial applications on all your mobile devices and tablets, be they produced by Google or Apple or whoever, are still to some extent subjective maps." There are, in other words, no perfect maps—just maps that (more-or-less) perfectly capture our understanding of the world at discrete moments in time. In his new book, A History of the World in 12 Maps, Brotton masterfully catalogs the maps that tell us most about pivotal periods in human history. Read more: http://bit.ly/1dA76y6 Image: A 15th-century reconstruction based on Ptolemy's projections of the world (Wikimedia Commons).

Trendy Barcelona Apartment Is A Comfy Paradise For Book Lovers!

Each one of us has a passion of our own, and we at Decoist have always believed that your home must reflect who you are. Surrounding yourself with …

25 Books That Changed The Course Of History

But what about the lives of an entire generation? Can a book change the future?<p>Miriam Tuliao, assistant director of central collection development at the New York Public Library, helped us come up with a list of 25 books that changed the course of history.<p>From the Torah to Orwell's "1984," these 25 …

What the Night Sky Would Look Like If the Other Planets Were as Close as the Moon

It's not always easy to imagine just how big the other planets are. Here, a space artist's thought experiment turns into a lesson in Earth's relative size.<p>Space artist Ron Miller has created a series of images that illustrate the sizes of the other planets in our solar system in a way that makes …

20 Breathtaking Images Of The Earth As Seen From Space

Aleppo, Syria, May 26, 2013 – The Citadel of Aleppo – medieval fortified palace<br>DigitalGlobe—Getty Images<p>1 of 20<p>Digital Globe, a provider of …