Published works on the History of Cartography

Early Mapping of Southeast Asia [Charles E. Tuttle, 1999]

Description, reviews, and images

Early Mapping of Southeast Asia documents the idea of Southeast Asia as a geographical and cosmographical construct, from the earliest times up until the dawn of the modern era. Using maps, itineraries, sailing instructions, travelers tales, religious texts and other contemporary sources, it examines the representations of Southeast Asia, both from the historical perspective of Western exploration and cartography, and also through the eyes of Asian neighbors.

From the time of Herodotus and Alexander the Great to the medieval cosmologies of the Christian Fathers, Southeast Asia was as much a place of myth and legend in Western thought as it was a geographical reality. Later, with the rediscovery of Ptolemy's Geographia and the ground-breaking journeys of Marco Polo and others like him, a more definite image of Southeast Asia began to inscribe itself in the contemporary cartographic record and paved the way for the great voyages of discovery in the late 15th and early 16th centuries - Columbus and Bartolomeu Dias, Vasco da Gama and Magellan.

Early Mapping of the Pacific [Charles E. Tuttle, 2004]

Description, reviews, and images

"This extraordinarily handsome volume reproduces a couple of hundred early maps of the greatest ocean in the universe with style and clarity, and Suarez explains the process of mapping an area that is mostly water with a sense of great adventure." (-Honolulu Star Bulletin, June 6, 2004)

"...more than just another book about cartography. It is a romantic excursion into the daring, swashbuckling world of voyagers and explorers plying some of the most remote longitudes on earth, and while cartography remains his main focus, Mr. Suarez has gone out of his way to to recount the particulars of important voyages... ...the book is enhanced by over 200 color and black and white illustrations of maps, charts, manuscripts, title pages, and other illustrations from contemporary sources. The captions are often detailed and offer in themselves salient capsules of the larger survey. The illustrations are lavish and exotic, and the book as a whole is beautifully laid out" (-Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America Newsletter, Spring, 2004)

Shedding the Veil: Mapping the European Discovery of America and the World [World Scientific, 1992]

Description, reviews, and images

Shedding the Veil is a highly original overview of Europe's exploration and discovery beyond her own confines.

It tackles the subject via an analysis of maps dating from circa 1434 to 1865, with an emphasis on the period before 1600. The book begins with an appraisal of the peculiar circumstances which led late medieval Europe to pursue long-distance travel, both overland and by sea, introduces cosmographic traditions inherited from classical times, and investigates pre-Columbian excursions into the western ocean.

Finally, the great voyages and mappaemundi of the early sixteenth century are described in depth. After 1600 the focus begins to narrow North America and particularly to the colonization of the American Northeast. All maps discussed in detail are illustrated. 40 full-page b/w plates, 25 full-page color plates.

Contributing author, History of Cartography
"Cartography and the Making of the Philippines from Antiquity to Now", New Introduction to Carlos P. Quirino's Philippine Cartography 1320-1899 [Vibal, 2018] Description and images

"Early Portuguese Mapping of Siam", in
500 Years of Thai-Portuguese Relations [Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2011]
Description and images

Cartografía histórica for the book
En el archipiélago de la Especiería. España y Molucas en los siglos XVI y XVII [Desperta Ferro Ediciones, 2021] Description and images

"Genesis of the American West: The Cortes Map", in
Mapping the West: America's Westward Movement 1524-1890, ed. Paul Cohen [Rizzoli, 2002]

"Borders and Boundaries", in
Borders and Boundaries: Maps of the Holy land 15th - 19th Centuries [Herbert and Eileen Bernard Museum, 2002]

Tom Suárez provided the break to Scotland Yard to crack a major theft of antiquities from the National Library of Spain

In 2007, Suárez realized that two maps that had appeared on the London map market (one illustrated on the left) were the same as those reported as stolen from the National Library of Spain.

He immediately contacted Scotland Yard, which interviewed him and led to the successful seizure of these and several other historical treasures.

As the article illustrated explained :

"It was Suárez who warned that the maps were the same as those claimed by Spain. Suárez’s complaint ended up changing the fortunes of Gómez Rivero and his gang in Buenos Aires, who were now obliged to defend themselves before a judge."


• Mapping the European Discovery of America and the World (Exhibit Catalog) Washington, D.C.: Federal Reserve, 1991

• A revised chronology for the mapping of America in the late sixteenth century: Hogenberg, Mazza, Ortelius [co-authored with Richard Casten], in The Map Collector, March 1995 (pp 26-30).

• Numerous articles and book reviews