Did you know that the ‘art and science of making maps’ is officially called cartography? Or that the first recognisable map was found around about 300AD?
The Mapmaker Chronicles series is pure fiction, but some of the techniques described in the books are based on fact. Dead Reckoning, for example, is an ancient navigational technique that involves measuring the distance and speed travelled from a fixed point (usually the port from which you’d sailed), while a Plumb Line – a piece of string with a weight fixed to the end – was used to measure the depth of water.
You can find more information about maps at these websites:
- The evolution of the world map
- How the Vikings navigated the world
- Maps in the ancient world
- The History of Mapping
- Mappa Mundi (Hereford Cathedral)
If you’d like to do more reading about maps, exploration, navigation and history, you might be interested in some of the books on A.L. Tait’s bookshelf:
- Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita To Australia National Library of Australia
- Into the Unknown: How great explorers found their way by land, sea and air Stewart Ross
- A Street Through Time Steven Noon
- Lonely Planet Not For Parents: How to be a world explorer
- Horrible Histories: Vicious Vikings + Measly Middle Ages Terry Deary, Martin Brown
And here are more books for kids about mapmaking:
- Me On The Map Joan Sweeney (Illustrator: Annette Cole) (4+)
- There’s A Map On My Lap Tish Rabe (Illustrator: Aristides Ruiz) (4+)
- Map My Neighborhood Jennifer Boothroyd (4+)
- Follow That Map: A First Book Of Mapping Skills Scot Ritchie (7+)
- Maps Aleksandra Mizielinska, Daniel Misielinska (7+)
- Atlas Of Adventures Rachel Williams (Illustrator: Lucy Letherland) (7+)
And if you’re at a loose end one weekend, try this:
- Mapping The World An epic three-part DVD series that tells the history of cartography.
- Create your own map – a cool craft activity with free printable.
- How to make a homemade compass