I am not a natural academic; joining the British Library back in 2014 as an associate reader felt like a huge first step on my journey to track the sketchy history of a line.
Contour lines on maps were first invented 400 years ago, or perhaps only 250; depending on whether isobaths (the submarine version) count.
I assumed foolishly that there would be a book – one academic – that had pulled together all the strands: who first, why, who saw their map and created the next evolution. But that book isn’t there. Instead I’ve been amassing leads in the Netherlands, Italy, Britain and France. Slowly pulling together the threads of the story.
Bear with me, if you like maps, walking, art or detective stories you might like this blog!