A veritably painstaking effort, Mapping India seeks to chart the cartographic history or the evolution of mapping in India, bringing together some of the noteworthy maps which have depicted India since the advent of Europeans 500 years ago. The maps here have had a seminal influence on the cartography of India till about its independence.
Recounting the story of India through maps, Mapping India tries to reproduce the earliest chronicles of India to its post-independence strides. The maps, included here, highlight the very rationale behind them -- their significance whether in representing an event or place in the life of the nation, an important discovery, a political upheaval, a battle that changed the course of its history, or a general state of affairs. Included here are maps that emphatically reflect the changing social and political fortunes of India. Here are maps that speak of the commercial interests of East India Company and of its wars that led to the colonization of India. Also seen in these maps are the changed courses of rivers, routes taken by armies, places where famines occurred, how the highest peaks were conquered and, besides a lot else, the momentous episodes from India’s epic struggle for independence.
Even if Mapping India is intended for readers that want to know about the cartographic history or the evolution of mapping in India, it holds out immense interest to academics and researchers for the historical context in which these maps were made. After all, the map, according to the author, is a geographer’s tool that bears testimony to the changes: physical, historical, military, political, social or cultural, on the ground.
Manosi Lahiri, a Delhi University’s Ph.D in Geography, founded, in 1993, MI Infomap, which today is the foremost name in India in the field of GIS technology and geographic information.