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Mapping Switzerland Putting the art in cartography

“A map is the perfect pictorial way to explain and entertain,” writes Diccon Bewes, author of Around Switzerland in 80 Maps, a new book that charts more than 500 years of Swiss history using maps of all shapes, sizes, colours – and accuracy.

Bewes unearths a hoard of maps, often buried deep in library archives, and guides the reader through the growth and development of Switzerland through the centuries.

All but one of the 80 maps are created by hand and range “from the circular island map of 1480 to the birth of modern Swiss cartography; from the British rail plan for Switzerland to a Soviet map of Basel during the Cold-War; from the 1970s Zurich map for men to the vision of a Greater Switzerland with 40 cantons”.

Bewes, a British travel writer and member of’s public council, explains: “Map by map, readers understand how Switzerland came to be and possibly where it is going.”

“Around Switzerland in 80 Maps” has been published during the UN-backed International Map Year, in which Switzerland is taking part.

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