Plotting the Globe: Stories of Meridians, Parallels, and the International Date Line
This book is a collection of stories and myths about geography, navigation, and geodesy-- the science that deals with the Earth's figure and the interrelationship of selected points on its surface-that reaches far beyond dry scientific texts to concentrate on the people behind the discoveries. The knowledge and understanding of abstract notions such as the Prime Meridian, the Equator, and the International Date Line is conveyed through emphasis on the human spirit that motivated the pioneer scientists and sailors. It is a tale littered with heroes and villains, battles, tragedies and international intrigue. Readers will learn of a time when nothing was certain--even the shape and size of the earth were the subjects of fierce competition, conflict, and politics.