Two Thousand Years of Three-Dimensional Mapmaking
Brian M. Ambroziak and Jeffrey R. Ambroziak
14.5 x 12.5 in; 116 pp; 100 color, comes with 2 fold-out maps and 2 3D glasses (Contains
20 3D images)
Whether from military necessity or unbridled curiosity, mapmakers since early antiquity
have attempted to represent the configuration of the land about them. The Greeks paid
homage to the landscape and struck its image on their coins. Medieval scholars viewed the
highest elevations as a boundary between the physical and the spiritual; the images they
created of their sacred shrines and historic sites were drawn atop simple caricatures of
mountains. Leonardo da Vinci's maps of Tuscany and other more realistic representations of
landforms appeared during the Renaissance, thanks to a wealth of scientific study and new
In the modern era, new techniques were invented as attempts to portray the
three-dimensional world on a flat surface became more sophisticated. Hachuring, a system
that involves shading with fine parallel or crossed lines, was developed with the use of
copper plates; contour lines slowly replaced this technique in the nineteenth century.
Lithography allowed for the introduction of color to the printing process, and multi-color
tints were used to impart a sense of elevation. Aerial and satellite photography and the
dawn of the digital era have yielded maps of unprecedented realism; today's computer
technology allows planetary surfaces to be portrayed in three dimensions with a precision
unimaginable to previous generations of mapmakers.
Infinite Perspectives traces the artistic and scientific evolution of topographic
representation from its origins to the present. Over 80 vivid color plates of some of the
most significant maps ever made detail important advances in the portrayal of three
dimensions in map form. The final section of the book contains 20 plates presenting a
revolutionary cartographic technique that allows viewers wearing ordinary 3D glasses to
view planetary surfaces without distortion. This invention, developed by the authors with
Dr. Russell Ambroziak and named Infinite Perspective Projection, is currently in use by
NASA and the Department of Defense. Included are maps of Mars, the Grand Canyon, and Mount
McKinley, as well as one large fold-out map, suitable for framing; two pairs of the
necessary 3D viewing glasses are also provided.
Review from The New Yorker "Following 'An Atlas of Rare City Maps'
and 'Bird's Eye Views' comes this stunning cartographic anthology that examines
verticality in mapping from ancient Iraq to the twenty-first century. In these
colorful pages, mountains and molehills bubble up in relief maps of Imperial
Roman highways and Leonardo's Tuscany, while the dramatic contours of the Grand
Canyon are captured in exquisitely accurate, eye-popping 3-D, courtesy of the
futuristic Ambroziak Infinite Perspective Projection."