'My name is Mike and I am a map addict. There, it's said...'
Mike Parker, presenter of Radio 4's On the Map, celebrates the richness of all things maps in this fantastic, critically-acclaimed read.
Have you ever got through an entire day without referring to some kind of navigational aide, be it checking the A-Z, touring the globe on Google Earth, planning a walk or navigating a shopping centre? Maps are everywhere and they are, according to self proclaimed map-addict Mike Parker, the unsung heroes of life. Here he sings their song, celebrating everything cartographic.
With a mix of wry observation and hard fact, the offbeat and the completely pedantic, Parker wages a one-man war against the moronic blandishments of the Sat Nav age. He combines cartographic history and trivia with memoir and oblique observation to create a highly readable expose of the world of maps. Only here can you find out which area has officially been named by the OS as the most boring square kilometre in the land and whether Milton Keynes was really built to pagan alignment.
Confessing that his own impressive map collection was founded on a virulent teenage shoplifting habit Parker ponders how a good leftie can be so gung-ho about British cartographic imperialism and establishes himself as defender and saviour of British cartography in the internet age.
Mike Parker has had a varied career, which at one point saw him working as a stand-up comedian. He has been widely published and also presents various travel programmes for radio and television. His books to date include the Rough Guide to Wales as well as several other guide books. He writes freelance travel pieces for most of the UK papers, including the Independent, the Independent on Sunday, the Guardian, the Sunday Times and the Mirror.