Friday, October 02, 2015

Mapping, 4 volume edited collection of key articles in cartography

The other year I was invited by Routledge to edit a substantial, multi-volume, book in their 'Critical Concepts in Geography' series. These basically collate and republish in full a large number of the key papers and book chapters on a given topic. I've edited one of these on 'Mapping' and it has just appeared in print.

The 4 volumes contain 76 separate pieces from the 1908 Max Eckert article ‘On the Nature of Maps and Map Logic’ to an 2013 article, ‘The London Underground Diagram: Between Palimpsest and Canon’, by Samuel Merrill. The 4 volumes are structured by theme as follows:
  • Volume I: Mapping definitions and paradigms
  • Volume II: Map design and communication
  • Volume III: Mapping technologies and techniques
  • Volume IV: People and politics
The volumes when combined this runs to just over 1600 pages over 200 black and white illustrations. As you might expect the set is not cheap; a snip at £900! The production values are pretty good but I thought it was shame they could not have come up with a nice cover design.

I'm not quite clear what the business model is for this kind product. Routledge have invested a lot of up front capital in securing permissions to reprint so much work and in terms of reformatting and copyediting. But I guess they are fairly certain of a large library market that will buying up copies!