The Great Arc – The Dramatic Tale of How India Was Mapped and Everest was Named


A vivid description of one of the most ambitious scientific projects undertaken in the nineteenth century, and the men who attempted the measurement of the Himalayas and the mapping of the Indian subcontinent: William Lambton and George Everest.
The graphic story of the measurement of a meridian, or longitudinal, arc extending from the tip of the Indian subcontinent to the mountains of the Himalayas.The longest such measurement up to this point made, it presented horrendous technical difficulties, set impossible physical expectations for the survey parties (jungle, tigers, mountains and so forth.), and took more than 50 years. However, the scientific results were commensurate, including the discovery of the world’s highest peaks and another figuring of the ebb and flow of the world’s surface.

The Indian Mutiny of 1857 triggered a gigantic construction of roads, railways, telegraph lines and canals all through India: all relied heavily upon the accuracy of the maps which the Great Arc had made conceivable.

One of the great non-fiction on the hugged feat achieved at that time. Mapping and surveying the entire India from South tip to Himalaya. Outfitted with just manual survey instruments (however most recent in that time), they are credited with estimating the tallness of the Himalayan giants. Worth reading for everybody keen on history plus adventure in the British Indian era.

Wonderful insights into the history of the mapping of India. Feels more like reading a story rather than any scientific permutations. The author has narrated the scientific facts in simple language keeping in tune with the personal lives of the characters.

Product details

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Harper Press (2 February 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780007481170
ISBN-13: 978-0007481170
ASIN: 0007481179
Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
Customer Reviews: 4.4 out of 5 stars48 customer ratings
Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #59,785 in Books
#88 in Geography Textbooks
#124 in Earth Sciences Textbooks
#117 in Geography Books

About the Author

John Keay is an author and broadcaster specialising in Asian history and current affairs. His other books include (in addition to his HarperCollins backlist above): Into India, When Men and Mountains Meet, Eccentric Travellers and Explorers Extraordinary. He lives with his wife Julia in Argyll, Scotland.


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