On The Map

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
01The Map Makers20100322 (BBC7)
20130924 (BBC7)
20150615 (BBC7)
20150616 (BBC7)

Self-confessed map addict Mike Parker explores modern cartography. If a picture paints a thousand words, a map can paint a million. They help us navigate our way through unfamiliar landscapes and cities, entice us into new places and give us a bigger picture of the world we inhabit.

Mike considers the maps he first fell in love with as a teenager - Ordnance Survey maps.

Mike Parker explores the maps he fell in love with as a teenager - Ordnance Survey maps.

02Mapping The Metropolis20100323 (BBC7)
20130925 (BBC7)
20150616 (BBC7)
20150617 (BBC7)

Mike Parker finds out what makes the ideal map for steering us through the urban jungle.

Self-confessed map addict Mike Parker explores modern cartography.

How do you make sense of a strange city and turn a bewildering maze of streets into a map that's instantly informative to a confused visitor? Mike Parker hits the city streets to find out what makes the ideal map for steering us through the urban jungle. He meets the man who has made it his mission to single-handedly create a new map of Manchester, and discovers how digesting the entire London A to Z makes cabbies' brains bigger.

03Motoring Maps20100324 (BBC7)
20130926 (BBC7)
20150617 (BBC7)
20150618 (BBC7)

In exploration of cartography, Mike Parker recalls a bygone age of elegant motoring maps.

Self-confessed map addict Mike Parker explores modern cartography.

The ultimate in cheap and ubiquitous mapping, there's scarcely a vehicle in the land that doesn't contain a dog-eared road atlas. Road maps and their digital descendent, the sat nav, may guide us efficiently around our nation's highways but they don't tell us much else about the landscape we're speeding through. Mike recalls a bygone age of elegant motoring maps and considers how modern road mapping and its unrelenting emphasis on our motorways and trunk roads has changed our picture of Britain.

04Social Mapping20100325 (BBC7)
20150618 (BBC7)
20150619 (BBC7)

How society is now being analysed online in cartographic mash-ups and crowd-sourced data.

Self-confessed map addict Mike Parker explores modern cartography.

There's no more effective way of representing our lives than a map: social and political conditions, health trends and the movements of goods and ideas have far greater impact when they're plotted in multicoloured cartography. Mike asks how society is now being analysed online in cartographic mash-ups and crowd-sourced data. He also discovers how mapping the human condition, its needs and habits, its highs and its lows, goes back to way before the digital age.

05The Lie Of The Land20100326 (BBC7)
20130930 (BBC7)
20150619 (BBC7)
20150620 (BBC7)

Mike Parker discovers how maps can be used as tools of power, politics and propaganda.

Self-confessed map addict Mike Parker explores modern cartography.

There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and then there are maps. Borders can be moved and countries expanded, shrunk or even left off the map altogether. We'd like to believe that maps are a purely factual representation of the world with no bias or agenda, but in fact every cartographer decides what to include on their map and what to exclude. Mike Parker discovers how maps can be used as tools of power, politics and propaganda.

06World View20100329 (BBC7)
20131001 (BBC7)
20150622 (BBC7)
20150623 (BBC7)

Cartographers always have to keep one eye on the map and one on new territorial disputes.

6/10 World View. Mike Parker considers the picture that maps and atlases give us of the wider world and our place in it. He discovers how cartographers always have to keep one eye on the map and the other on the news as territorial disputes rage, borders change and new countries emerge. And he visits Jan Morris to look through a collection of maps and atlases accumulated over sixty years of travel writing.

07Off The Map20100330 (BBC7)
20131002 (BBC7)
20150623 (BBC7)
20150624 (BBC7)

7/10 Off the Map. The first step to success in any military campaign is a good map. During the Second World War, intelligence officers prepared meticulously detailed maps for the D-Day landings using a combination of aerial photography, old tourist guides and holiday snaps. Mike Parker discovers how Germany, and later the Soviet Union, compiled maps of Britain often more detailed than our own. And he visits a Cold War nuclear bunker, one of the many sites that until recently were simply blank spaces on Ordnance Survey maps.

Mike Parker visits a Cold War military site that was once a blank space on an OS map.

08Whose Map Is It Anyway?
08Whose Map Is It Anyway?20100331 (BBC7)
20150625 (BBC7)

Mike Parker asks if Ordnance Survey can maintain its hold on the national topography.

08Whose Map Is It Anyway?20100331 (BBC7)
20131003 (BBC7)
20150624 (BBC7)

8/10 Whose Map Is It Anyway? Thanks to Ordnance Survey, the landscape of the British Isles is probably the most comprehensively mapped of any in the world. But pressure is growing for OS to waive their copyright and make their cartographic data free to use for all-comers. Mike Parker asks whether the UK's mapping agency can maintain its hold on the national topography - and its reputation.

09Digital Maps
09Digital Maps20100401 (BBC7)
20150626 (BBC7)

Mike Parker looks at cartography in the digital age and asks if the paper map can survive.

09Digital Maps20100401 (BBC7)
20131004 (BBC7)
20150625 (BBC7)

9/10 Digital Maps. Who needs traditional paper maps any more when you can download all the maps you need from the internet? Mike Parker looks at cartography in the digital age and asks whether internet mapping and satellite navigation are actually destroying good map-making and map-reading.

10Maps Of The Mind
10Maps Of The Mind20100402 (BBC7)
20150626 (BBC7)
20150627 (BBC7)

Mike Parker visits Ambridge, home of the Archers, to explore maps of the imagination.

10/10 Maps of the Mind. The most powerful maps aren't found on paper or a computer screen. They're the maps we hold in our memories and imaginations. Mike Parker visits a primary school in his home town to compare the pupils' maps with his own, drawn from childhood recollection. And he takes a trip to Ambridge, home of the Archers, to meet Eddie Grundy and ask him for directions around the village.

10 LASTMaps Of The Mind20100402 (BBC7)
20131007 (BBC7)

10/10 Maps of the Mind. The most powerful maps aren't found on paper or a computer screen. They're the maps we hold in our memories and imaginations. Mike Parker visits a primary school in his home town to compare the pupils' maps with his own, drawn from childhood recollection. And he takes a trip to Ambridge, home of the Archers, to meet Eddie Grundy and ask him for directions around the village.

0120121008

Simon Garfield starts his journey through maps in the Great Library of Alexandria.

Simon Garfield starts his journey through the story of maps in the Great Library of Alexandria where, for the first time, scholars began to plot the wider world.

Ptolemy's atlas of AD 150 was to provide a template of the world for more than a thousand years and it was a version of this that Columbus took with him when he set sail for Japan in 1492.

Producer: Clive Brill

A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.

0220121009

After the brilliant theories of Alexandria, the world fell into a cartographic dark age.

After the brilliant theories of Alexandria, the world appeared to fall into a cartographic dark age for about a thousand years.

Still the great maps of the middle ages, such as the Mappa Mundi in Hereford Cathedral, had their own different but lofty ambitions of metaphysical meaning - to provide a map-guide for a largely illiterate public to a Christian life.

Producer: Clive Brill

A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.

0320121010

Simon investigates why America was named after a man who got there a year after Columbus.

Simon Garfield's journey through the world of maps investigates why America was named after a man who got there a year after Christopher Columbus.

Producer: Clive Brill

A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.

0420121011

Simon Garfield continues his journey through the world of maps. Today, he shows how the plotting of a very special map of London led a Victorian doctor to the source of cholera and enabled him to conquer it.

Producer: Clive Brill

A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.

Simon Garfield discovers how a map of London helped a Victorian doctor conquer cholera.

05 LAST20121012

Simon Garfield asks if the cliche that women are less good at navigating than men is true.

Is the old cliché that women are less good at navigating than men true? Or do they just have different ways of finding their bearings?

The last part of Simon Garfield's wander through the history of maps takes us down the routes of gender difference and sat nav.

Producer: Clive Brill

A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.