We've seen a number of cartography courses come and go over the last 20 years. Small's Mapping the World by Heart and McHenry's Mapping the World With Art are two of the more comprehensive ones, fairly technical and precise, using videos to teach. We like these courses, but have always wondered: who really has time to do them? Classical Conversations' more recent Exploring the World through Cartography is a lovely, in-depth book, digging into the history of maps and map-making, as well as encouraging students to draw solid maps; this course makes more sense to us and it seems to be an excellent resource to have around. But Kristin Draeger's Draw the World books are different—and in a very appealing way.
How Do These Work?
As you can see from the examples, the maps are drawn in outline form, with much less detail than the more technical courses above. By the end of the book, a student will have a solid grasp of where the continents and oceans are, and their general shape. The instructions are familiar step-by-step drawing instructions, with each step first in red and then changing to black as it is completed. Unlike other drawing books, there is more written communication as Kristin deftly points out details you might not otherwise catch.
There are nine books total in this series, all of them similar, but covering different regions of the world. The book titled simply Draw the World covers the entire globe, but as it is no bigger than the others, it is a simpler book covering the traditional model of seven continents and five oceans.
The other eight books focus on specific regions. There is one for the USA, Canada & Greenland, Latin & South America, Europe, Africa, Oceania, and two for Asia (the second volume builds on the first). And while these may be less technical, there is plenty of detail! By the end of each book, a student will have completed and labeled a map of a region. The following samples from Africa give an idea of the process and completed work:
Our Honest Opinion:
We believe these are appealing because they are friendly.
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