This is a fine selection of wonderful maps, charts, city plans, geological information, comparative overviews of mountains and rivers, climatological and oceanographic charts, etc. Most are from the XIX century; although some are copies of much older maps, and their provenience are usually France, the Netherlands or Germany, but also includes exquisitely beautiful Japanese maps, astronomical charts, Chinese maps, etc. With an excellent CD-ROM where you can find high resolution copies of all the included maps (the name of the file is the number of the page and its relative position) this product could be a true find (much more valuable than this three star rating would suggest).
If you're looking for a very elegant and intelligent coffee table book or as a gift for a map aficionado, or even to relax imagining faraway places and bygone ages, then I definitively recommend this book for you. But this work as a huge flaw! In its cover the title mentions "...Historical and curious Maps". So if you're interested in knowing anything about the hundreds of maps provided, including the maker, some important subtitles, political situation for certain satirical maps, how they were found, etc, you won't find anything of the sort here, even the dates are frequently unmentioned. You just have the maps, a back index with the country and sometimes with the date, and the very good computer files.
Just as an example how this can be annoying: in page 46 you have fascinating Native American pictographs, but you don't have the date, context or location...so far as I know it could have been drawn by a Native American child in 1998 (with very small historical relevance, except for their parents) or an amazing 1750 find representing early mapping efforts from the Navaho tribe. You just don't know!!!
If this book had been published in 1990 it would be a treasure indeed. There were few published inexpensive resources like this one. But this is a 2005 product. Let's face it: Anyone can find Hi-Res ancient and old maps for free nowadays; so this book should have a few more pages summarily describing the wonderful published maps and charts (if there were page limitations, the publisher could have used the CD-ROM to provide the extra information).