The original Peutinger map was probably completed sometime around the 4th century A.D., but the version that exists today is a 13th century copy. The Peutinger Map. Bored Panda works better on our iPhone app. It is named for the German scholar Konrad Peutinger, who took ownership of it in the early 1500s. The 'equal area' projection, which was nearly identical to an earlier design by the Scottish clergyman James Gall, was a hit with the press and progressive NGOs. After Ferdinand Magellan's expedition circumnavigated the globe for the first time in 1522, Ribeiro, working for the Spanish crown, placed the "Spice Islands," inaccurately, just inside the Spanish half of his seemingly scientific world maps. (Credit: Heritage Images / Getty Images). Babylonian map of the world. His atlas seems to have disappeared for over a thousand years, and it wasn’t until the 13th century that Byzantine scholars began making projections using his coordinates. Explore eight of the most important maps from the early history of cartography. Europe is a "tiny, barbaric speck" in the upper left, with a circumnavigable Africa below (it's unclear whether the dark shading in the middle of Africa represents a lake or a desert). This work by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemuller is considered the most expensive map in the world because, as Brotton notes, it is "America's birth certificate"—a distinction that prompted the Library of Congress to buy it from a German prince for $10 million. There are, in other words, no perfect maps—just maps that (more-or-less) perfectly capture our understanding of the world at discrete moments in time. History’s earliest known world map was scratched on clay tablets in the ancient city of Babylon sometime around 600 B.C. All Rights Reserved. Check your inbox, and click on the link to activate your account. The Cassinis used the science of triangulation to create this nearly 200-sheet topographic map, which French revolutionaries nationalized in the late 18th century. 9. Cantino succeeded in his mission, and the map that he smuggled out of Portugal has since become famous. Brotton dismisses this view, arguing that Europe isn't even at the center of the map. We all know John Smith from his role in founding the Virginia Colony—and for his role along with Pocahontas as one half of America’s original “power couple.” But after he was drummed out of Virginia for reasons best not gone into here, Smith had a second act exploring the area then known as “North Virginia.” Smith figured it needed a catchier moniker, so he branded it “New England,” both to separate it from the southern colony that spur… The oddly shaped map is 22 feet long and just one foot wide, and depicts the course of more 60,000 miles of Roman roads stretching from Western Europe to the Middle East. The amount of inaccuracies and biases are too damn high! Al-Sharif al-Idrisi, a Muslim from Al-Andalus, traveled to Sicily to work for the Norman King Roger II, producing an Arabic-language geography guide that drew on Jewish, Greek, Christian, and Islamic traditions and contained two world maps: the small, circular one above, and 70 regional maps that could be stitched together. My Wife Handcrafted A Tim Burton-Inspired Monster To Safely Deliver Candy To Trick-Or-Treaters! Once a staple of school classrooms the world over, the famed Mercator projection has also been the subject of considerable debate and controversy. he asks. "I think it’s a map about stoicism and transcendence," he says. National Mapping: Cassini's Map of France (1744), Beginning under Louis XIV, four generations of the Cassini family presided over the first attempt to survey and map every meter of a country. Like what you're reading? Working for the Dutch East India Company, Joan Blaeu produced a vast atlas with hundreds of baroque maps gracing thousands of pages. Sadly, no maps drawn by Ptolemy have survived to today. (Credit: VCG Wilson/Corbis/Getty Images). 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