Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds (Ian Wright)

Brilliant Maps for Curious Minds is a graphic book of 100 maps that Ian Wright created. The maps are used to highlight demographic, political, social, and other statistical information in a visual way.

Wright, the operator of, has over 350 maps on his website and has put many of those into this book. This includes “fun maps” like “Why you can’t dig to China from the US”, “All roads lead to Rome”, and “Map of the entire internet in 1969”.  There are more serious maps included as well, all of which provide a breadth and depth of visual context that often times tells a more effective story than merely seeing or hearing facts and figures.

This book’s only text section is the introduction, where Wright talks about the reasons he put this collection of maps together in a book and reflects that while maps can inform, sometimes they can mislead. He stresses the importance of context as part of explaining the story behind the map. Wright’s book is geared towards the geographically inclined and those who dive into the rabbit hole of Google Maps or any map-oriented sites. It’s an informative, descriptive look into the world from a mapmaker’s perspective.