James R. Akerman is director of the Newberry Library's Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography and editor of Cartographies of Travel and Navigation, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Robert W. Karrow Jr. is curator of special collections and maps in the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at the Newberry Library.
"Maps shows us that the content of a given map is as much determined by culture, historical circumstances, and the interests of mapmakers and map users as it is by the geography that it attempts to depict. From the earliest maps on clay tablets to today's in-car navigation systems, maps tell us not just where we are but who we are. They are artifacts of - and witnesses to - history. And they continue to inspire us to wonder about our place in the world, and mark it for others to see." - John W. McCarter Jr., from the Foreword"