Mapmaking dates to at least the late 15th century, just a few decades after Gutenberg’s introduction of the first moveable type printing press. By the time of Queen Elizabeth’s reign during the second half of the 16th century, people were already collecting these documents, which were usually bound in books, making them important additions to any self-respecting library.
Some of the most desirable early maps are the colorful engravings from the 1500s, which were quick to integrate, as best they could, the intelligence gleaned from voyages by such explorers as Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, and Giovanni Caboto, an Italian whose name is frequently shortened to Cabot. The first of these was Johann Ruysch’s 1507 map showing the New World, which was produced more than a decade before Ferdinand Magellan’s crew completed their late-captain’s circumnavigation of the world.
Gerard Mercator’s “Orbis Terrae Compendiosa Descriptio,” which was reproduced by his son Rumold in 1587 and published in numerous books and atlases after his death in 1594, gave ...
By 1627, the famous London cartographer John Speed produced a decorative, double-hemisphere map of his own, which is notable for showing the state of California as an island. More than 100 years later, in 1750, Emanuel Bowen’s Mercator projection world map, in which all the latitudes and longitudes are parallel, got Baja California correct, but left the northwest corner of North America empty and unmapped.
If the geography depicted on world maps was occasionally a bit fuzzy, cartographers did a better job capturing more familiar places such as cities and towns. Sebastian Munster’s 1552 map of London used the woodblock printing technique to show streets to scale, outsize ships in the Thames, and noblemen and women in the foreground as a decorative touch. By comparison, John Rocque’s 1746 map of the same city almost looks like a satellite photograph—visitors to the city today could probably use it and not get too lost.
Some of the earliest regional maps of North America and the United States were produced by Europeans. Henry Hondius of The Hague created a map of Virginia in 1633 based on an original provided by Captain John Smith, who settled Jamestown. Amsterdam-based cartographer Jan Jansson created definitive maps of the northeast in 1666, and Francis Lamb engraved a decorative map of the Carolina coastline for Londoner John Speed in 1676.
As with Rocque’s 1746 map of London, Robert Sayer and John Bennett’s 1776 map of Florida looks surprisingly contemporary. And Joseph Colton’s large 1854 wall map of the United States is extremely accurate, with states, territories, and topographical features captured in loving detail.
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The period of the French and Indian War was a map-making era. Since much of the country was not chartered, it is perfectly logical… [more]
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The Avenue Gallery looks to create arts/health community in NorwalkThe Hour, May 17th
Located in the former location of Brandman's Paint and Decorating Center, The Avenue Gallery features mixed art from local artists, antique maps and prints, framing services and a forum for artists to gather. The location also includes Kong Crossfit in...Read more
Revised Kentucky and Tennessee Quad Maps Reveal New DesignAmerisurv, May 17th
The replaced maps will be added to the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection and are also available for free download from The National Map and the USGS Map Store website. "The new Kentucky and Tennessee US Topo maps demonstrate our...Read more
Super charged Rhino Charge 2013 aheadCapital FM Kenya, May 17th
This year is no different and the map collection point is the Brookhouse School along Nairobi's Magadi Road starting 31st of June. “As usual everybody is asking leading questions and trying to establish where the location is and I'm sure one or two...Read more
Comings & Goings: The Avenue Out, Alex and Ani InWestport Now, May 15th
After 15 years, The Avenue Gallery, specializing in framing antique maps and nature prints, has relocated from 117 Post Road East to Norwalk's 173 Main St., in the former Brandman Paint distribution center. In an email to WestportNow, owner Diana Wyant...Read more
Cromwellian map collection website goes liveRTE.ie, May 13th
Co Tipperary, Ireland (Pic: Department des Cartes et Plans, Bibliotheque National de France) Barony of Slievardagh, Co Tipperary, Ireland. (Pic: Map Library, Trinity College Dublin) Barony of Middlethird, Co Tipperary, Ireland (Pic: The Quit Rent...Read more
DPLA Announces Partnership with Rumsey Map CollectionGISuser.com (press release), May 2nd
The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is partnering with the David Rumsey Map Collection to provide online access to tens of thousands of significant historical maps and images. As part of the relationship, David Rumsey will provide metadata for...Read more
Dresses Made From Antique Maps [Pics]PSFK, May 1st
'Les Robes Geographiques' is a fashion project by the artist Elisabeth Lecourt, who lives and works in London. The series features dresses fashioned out of a wide variety of antique map replicas. Dresses Made From Antique Map Replicas [Pics]. Some of...Read more
On the occasion of the National Day of Persian GulfIran Book News Agency, April 22nd
The Exhibition of Antique Maps of Persian will open on Thursday in the central office of Sahab Geographic and Drafting Institute. The exhibition will be mounted on the occasion of the National Day of Persian Gulf. IBNA: The Exhibition of Antique Maps...Read more