Imagine Nation: How Pocket Maps Helped Poets and Subjects Reenvision England

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[…]

The Southern Hemisphere, Australia, and Cartographers in the 16th Century

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[…]

Mapping the Oceans in the Age of Discovery

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[…]