Analyzing the evolution of the map of the world in the 20th century, from the Navy League map of 1901 to a digital world view a century later. Introduction Maps have been around for centuries, but the 20th century was a golden age of map-making. It was the first period of near-universal map literacy, when maps[…]
The map had much to say about the intellectual rapport between cartographers and navigators in the fifteenth century. For many years after it was donated to Yale University in 1962, a detailed world map completed in 1491 by Henricus Martellus and in all likelihood consulted by Christopher Columbus hung unobtrusively on a wall outside of[…]
Robert Knox Sneden colored the record. A descendant of American Loyalists and born in Nova Scotia in 1832, Robert Knox Sneden was a budding architect in New York City when the Civil War erupted. He had also studied landscape painting, and in the Union Army his drafting skills were put to work making maps. General[…]
Exploring maps and mapmaking influenced the development of colonial North America. Introduction Thousands of surviving maps allow scholars to trace how European and indigenous understandings of North America developed between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. These maps convey information about the continent’s physical features, practical details ranging from the contours of rivers and coastlines to[…]
What can old maps teach us about world history? What sorts of evidence do they offer? Introduction Giving an account of the history of the world is an ancient practice. As long as people have recognized a world, they have sought to explain how it came to be, and how and why it, and their[…]
From Paleolithic cave drawings to the futuristic possibility of immersive geographies. Originally published by Nova Scotia Community College, republished with embed permission for educational, non-commercial purposes.
440 years old and filled with footprints, these aren’t your everyday maps. At the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas, 19 maps, nearly 440 years old, are on display — and they look spectacular. “Works on paper are delicate so we’re only allowed to put them on display for nine months out of 10[…]
Behind every manuscript map lies an individual’s hand. Originally published by the Harvard Map Collection, republished with embed permission for educational, non-commercial purposes.
Exploring how British Library maps chart the evolution of man’s understanding of the earth and cosmos. Introduction Perhaps the oldest intellectual challenge facing the human mind has been to discover the shape and extent of the earth and of the cosmos which contains it. This problem has been fundamental to man’s understanding of his place[…]
A GPS for sixteenth-century travelers. By Mary Alexandra Agner Like many other familiar objects, the road map has been transformed by digital technology. From unfoldable glove-compartment staple to robotically voiced GPS system, maps have become more portable, easier to hold, and just plain different. Whether or not we pause to reflect on it, these gadgets[…]
Examining how topographical views were often the result of artists touring in Britain and beyond. The lawyer Sir William Burrell, planning a history of Sussex which he never completed, commissioned over the period 1780 to 1791 a series of illustrative drawings from James Lambert, a local watercolourist, and from Samuel Hieronymus Grimm, an immigrant from Switzerland.[…]
Britain’s prehistoric landscapes are depicted in prints and drawings across the British Library’s collections. The prehistoric monuments of Britain are strewn across the landscape but because their identity and purpose has been obscured, they have presented a challenge to topographers. Of all of them, Stonehenge was too monumental to be ignored and its representation dominates[…]
In the 16th century, most maps were published in Latin and cartographers were just starting to record European discoveries such as America. Matthew Flinders, who died just over 200 years ago, is widely credited with giving this country its name: Australia. Flinders preferred Australia to the more commonly used Terra Australis as he thought it[…]
Johannes Gutenberg printed his first Bible in 1455, and the first published sailing directions appeared thirty-five years later. Print media encouraged the divergence of navigational information from material discussing the commercial prospects of trade at various ports. Printing promoted the widespread distribution of geographic and hydrographic information, including maps, to readers throughout Europe at a[…]