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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Cartography to be mapped out on BBC Four

BBC Four today announces two new series which will explore the fascinating and diverse subject of maps: Mapping The World and The Art Of Maps.

Due to transmit this spring, the series create a "Maps Moment" on BBC Four that explores the role of maps as a unique window on history and the beauty inherent within them.

Their transmission will coincide with a British Library exhibition, Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda And Art.

Richard Klein, Controller of BBC Four, says: "Maps, combining artistry, science, history and culture, are a great example of what BBC Four is all about: offering real insight and discourse on a major aspect of our cultural heritage.

"BBC Four continues to be fascinated with the exploration of all things cultural, and maps have contributed to culture in a unique way.

"Beyond their function maps are also fascinating works of art in themselves and through our Maps Moment we hope to go some way towards illustrating their true meaning and beauty."

Mapping The World (3 x 60-minutes) tells the epic and beautiful story of cartography, from hammered rock art to satellite images of Google Earth.

Each episode reveals how maps developed and how technological advances fuelled the progress of map-making.

In the process, the series explores the role of maps in the wider world in relation to issues of power, romance, wars and exploration.

Presenter Professor Jerry Brotton shows that maps are not simply graphic representations of reality; they provide a snapshot of a cultural moment, actively shaping history and revolutionising the way we see the world.

The Art Of Maps (4 x 60-minutes) looks at the art of maps, their historical significance, their relevance to modern map-making, and how they shape the future of cartography.

Each programme will focus on one specific map and use human stories and testimony, original sketches and artistic impressions, private journals and historic archive sources to tell its story.

The series addresses the cartographers' role and the impact their creations have had within the art world and includes interviews with artists and Peter Barber, Head of Map Collections at the British Library.

The Art Of Maps will also have an online counterpart featuring exclusive content thematically aligned to the TV series. Users will be able to explore five historic maps.

This interactive content will be a mixed-media combination of pictures, video, audio and text and will guide the viewer on a journey through modern day map-making, exploring the most intriguing and beautiful maps of today.

Notes to Editors

Mapping The World is a BBC Vision Production. The BBC executive producer is Anne Laking; the series producer is Annabel Hobley.

The Art Of Maps is a BBC network commission from Tern in Northern Ireland for BBC Four. The executive producer for Tern is Harry Bell; the producer and director is Steven Clarke. The BBC executive producer is James Hayes. Interactive content produced by Simon Meek of Tern Digital; commissioned by Nick Cohen for BBC Interactive; BBC executive producer Marc Ramsay.

The British Library Exhibition – Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda And Art – runs from 30 April to 19 September 2010.


Information for viewers

More content about these programmes will be published, as transmission approaches, on these pages:

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