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“La Familia Michoacana” Graph, by Eduardo Salcedo-Albaran, at the book “Mapping it Out: An Alternati

Cartography and infographics meet contemporary art, science and ideas

The world's sharpest minds rethink what maps can be and do

‘A dizzying catalogue of images that interrogate the role of maps in the 21st century’

– New Statesman

'… engrossing and beautiful …'


‘Fascinating … explores the post-modern world of alternative cartography’

– Geographical

‘Thought-provoking abstractions from artists, designers, scientists and more … with a beautiful design by Jonathan Barnbrook, it will be a long, long while before this book starts to feel old’


‘Brings artistry and imagination back to mapmaking … visually arresting’


See the review and pictures in the FT Mazazine

See the gallery in The Guardian

See the review in Design Week

See the review and gallery in Huffington Post

Over 130 of the world’s most creative minds make sense of our exterior and interior worlds through intriguing and imaginative maps of their own devising. Imaginative, visionary and richly absorbing, this book will appeal to anyone interested in how we visualize our worlds, physical or abstract, real or imagined.

Whether they chart a newly discovered land or lay out a complicated process, maps serve to improve our understanding of what surrounds us. They make the complex simple, and reveal the complexity behind the apparently straightforward.

Original and thought-provoking, Mapping It Out invites leading lights from a host of fields to create a personal map of their own, in whatever form and showing whatever terrain they choose, whether real-world or imaginary.

Some contributors have translated scientific data into simplified visual language, while others have condensed vast social, political or natural forms into concise diagrams. Many have reworked existing maps to subvert their original purpose or to present an alternative view of reality. Others play with the map’s commitment to truth by plotting invented worlds and charting imaginative flights of fancy. Going further, some offer entirely new kinds of map – or even reject the map’s claim to bear facts altogether.

In his Introduction, acclaimed novelist Tom McCarthy reflects on the relationship between maps, literature and knowledge, while Hans Ulrich Obrist considers the influence of maps on artistic creativity.

Contributors include David Adjaye, Tim Berners-Lee, Olafur Eliasson, Mona Hatoum, Susan Hiller, Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor, John Maeda, Annette Messager, Yoko Ono, Ed Ruscha, Bruce Sterling, Christopher Stringer, J. Craig Venter and many others …

Hans Ulrich Obrist is Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery, London. He has curated dozens of pioneering exhibitions all over the world, and has written and compiled many publications on cultural issues. Tom McCarthy is a writer and artist. He is author of the novels Remainder, Men in Space and C, and the work of literary criticism Tintin and the Secret of Literature.

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