Cover image for Mapping the world
Mapping the world
Johnson, Sylvia A.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
32 pages : color (some color), maps (some color) ; 21 x 26 cm
A history of mapmaking showing how maps both reflect and change people's view of the world.
Reading Level:
NC 1160 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 7.5 1.0 32739.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 6.5 3 Quiz: 20374.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GA105.6 .J65 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GA105.6 .J65 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GA105.6 .J65 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Maps show us how to get from one place to another, but they have other stories to tell. By looking at a map, we can see which aspects of the world were most important to people in a particular time and place. The earliest maps from ancient Mesopotamia picture a small world made up only of neighboring kingdoms. During the Middle Ages, when Christianity was a powerful influence, maps often showed the location of the Garden of Eden and other places mentioned in the Bible. In a later period of trade and exploration, mapmakers produced sea charts based on compass readings to guide sailors as they navigated unknown seas. With the discovery of new lands and new peoples, the known world was transformed, and maps reveal the different stages of this great change.Today, cartographers use computers, satellites, and other tools of modern science to map the most remote regions of the earth, create maps of the ocean floor, and even explore distant planets. This partnership between science and cartography has provided a broader perspective on our place in the universe. The world is much larger and more complicated than people of the past could ever have imagined.Through a fascinating collection of colorful maps and an informative, engaging text, Mapping the World encourages readers to think about how views of the world have changed over time. After reading it, budding cartographers might even be inspired to create maps of their own.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-7. History and geography meet in this short, handsome account of mapmaking, from the work of the first great cartographer, Ptolemy of Greece, to today's satellite and computer images that map the ocean floor and the distant planets. The story is told in a series of double-page spreads, each with an explanatory text and a map beautifully reproduced to show minute detail. This is a good addition for social studies classes, especially since Johnson points out how each historic map reflects the particular mapmaker's knowledge and view of the world--what's at the center and what's not important at all. --Hazel Rochman

Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-In a clear and informative progression, Johnson traces the history of cartography from an early Babylonian image scratched into a clay tablet to maps developed with satellite and computer technology. Early maps, the author notes, were often infused with the theology of the period and as exploration into unknown areas expanded, so did the information recorded on them. Early mapmakers and geographers are identified: Claudius Ptolemaeus (or Ptolemy); Matthew Paris; Martin Waldseemller, who was the first to identify the New World as "America"; and Gerardus Mercator, the 16th-century creator of the Mercator projection still used in cartography today. The slender book contains a number of clear full-color reproductions that suitably illustrate Johnson's descriptions. The writing is smooth and lucid and the material is well organized. The further reading list flags books of interest to young readers. Attractive, interesting, and well written, this title will be an asset to any collection.-Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Pictures of the Worldthe Oldest World MAP
Babylonian map on a clay tablet, around 500 B.C
The First Cartographer
world map based on the ideas of Ptolemy, around A.D. 150
A World of Faitht
O map created by Isidore of Seville, around A.D. 600
World map from a psalter, 1250
A Medieval Road Map
Map of a pilgrimage route by Matthew Paris, around 1240
Navigating The SEAS
Portolan chart by Albini de Canepa, 1489
A Map of a New World
World map by Juan de la Cosa, 1500
The Naming of America
Globe gores by Martin Waldseemüller, 1507
Ptolemaic map, 1511
A Land of Cannibals
Map of the New World by Sebastian Münster, 1544
The First Atlas
World map by Abraham Ortelius, 1570
A World in Two Hemispheres
World map by Henricus Hondius, 1633
Mercator's Projection
World map by John Melish, 1818
New Eyes on the World
Landsat map of the San Francisco Bay area, 1985
Secrets of the Ocean Floor
Map of Indian Ocean floor by Walter Smith and David Sandwell, 1997
Mapping Other Worlds
Map of Venus, 1982
Anyone Can Be A Cartographergis
Map showing U.S. population, 1998
Books About Maps/Credits