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The Shape of the World
The Shape of the World
Genres: Documentary
NR     2009     5hr 6min

The epic tale of mapping the globe As seen on PBS "Explores the history of mapmaking with elegance and intelligence" --The New York Times How do we see the world? Some ancients believed it rode on the back of a turtle. The...  more »


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Movie Details

Creator: Patrick Stewart
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Athena
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 08/04/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/1990
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1990
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 5hr 6min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Harold Wolf | Wells, IN United States | 06/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"THE SHAPE OF THE WORLD,a global mapping DVD set goes beyond just a documentary. It's a detailed in-depth educational study of maps of all kinds. From the earliest to today's computer and satellite images--it's all covered. Meet the adventurers that paved the way.

It's easy for us to key in an address and get a road map or birds-eye view of nearly any location in the world on a computer screen from our home, office, or car. But how did that all come about? Who made it possible? When did the mapping begin? Why? Was it all for the good? What is next?

It's all covered in this scholarly set. The people who gave their lives, used their careers, spent fortunes, and suffered innumerable hardships are presented in an easily understood, but quite comprehensive explanation of how our earth has been measured, mapped, photographed, and the information made available to virtually all of mankind.

Fantastic visual presentations (travelogue quality) of countries, locations, artifacts, people, and other aspects of mapping the earth are provided in this beautiful, colorful, 3-DVD set. It includes narration by Patrick Stewart (also in "PLAYING SHAKESPEARE"), interviews from princes & scientists, to commoners, and a musical score pleasing to the ear.

"THE SHAPE OF THE WORLD" taught me more about maps and geography than I learned through 4 years of high school. It's entertaining, on an intellectual level. This is a map evolution documentary, not a TV comedy/romance series. But expect to be awed by adventure and bravery of those who worked to make life better for the rest of us. These chart making pioneers have done more for mankind than almost any political leader could claim. A TOP documentary production.

Episode 1: Heaven and Earth, Egypt, China, Greeks, & Christian influence;
2: Secrets of the Sea, Sea charting, awesome;
3: Staking a Claim, countries seek supremacy via maps;
4: Empire!, surveying India, narrator's favorite;
5: Pictures of the Invisible, the ocean floor & under the ice;
6: The Writing on the Screen, what today and tomorrow?

SUBTITLES-YES!! They help, because not everyone in the world pronounces locations the same.

An elegant well-produced 306 minutes of an educational series recommended for any school, university, library, or home seeking mental enrichment."