Plotting the Globe: Stories of Meridians, Parallels, and the International Date Line
Stories of Meridians, Parallels, and the International Date Line
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About the author
Avraham Ariel is a freelance writer who has been associated with ships and shipping all his life. A deck boy at 16, the youngest shipmaster in Israel at 25 and an academic at 55, Ariel was born in Israel and lived for twenty years in Australia. He has an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of New South Wales. He is a seafarer, businessman, inventor, educator, and author of six books.
Nora Ariel Berger began her professional career as a journalist in Australia and then worked in Israel. She moved to the business side of the media after going to business school and working for the Telegraph newspaper company in the UK. After a position as Strategic Planner for an advertising agency, she is now Assistant Director of Marketing for a donor-advised fund in New York. She has a BA in Communications (Journalism) and an MBA from London Business School.
People use concepts such as time and date to structure their lives on a daily basis. They often measure their travel by marking points arranged along great circles on the globe. Yet most do not understand the origin and history of these terms and the stories of the intrepid adventurers, scientists, and seafarers who shaped our picture of the world today. Ariel transports readers to faraway lands and ancient cultures that span more than 3500 years of exploration. Phoenicians, Spaniards, Portuguese, British, French, and many others star in an epic that stretches from Lapland to Cape Horn, via Greenwich, Paris, the Andes and the Fortunate Islands.
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.
; December 2005
249 pages; ISBN 9780313056468Read online
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Title: Plotting the Globe: Stories of Meridians, Parallels, and the International Date Line
Author: Avraham Ariel; Nora Berger
In the press
"[A]n entertaining and easy read. Written by a former ship's master, who 'escaped' the seagoing life for an academic one, and with the research assistance of his daughter, it treats the development of the dimensional knowledge of the earth and the characters involved in its advancement in a light hearted, at times whimsical, manner….The narrative moves along with ease and factually reflects considerable research. This is borne out by a comprehensive bibliography, fully attributed illustrations, a list of Web site sources and 17 pages of footnotes collected together at the end of the book under chapter headings….The book includes many facts and topics of interest which may have passed by the more academic student of geodesy, in particular the stories surrounding the personal lives, travels and scientific endeavor of the explorers who undertook the assorted privations of the new world, both east and west, in their search for knowledge, territory and riches, -- often in reverse order." - Survey Review