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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1 Hidden Risk Energy Investors Must Watch Very CloselyMotley Fool, May 22nd
From the Founder's Well Program to a sale of an antique map collection, there were several instances where the company was engaged in questionable, related-party transactions with its CEO. Yet, if natural gas prices had never collapsed then none of...Read more
Uhry to pen Broadway's 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil'Atlanta Business Chronicle (blog), May 21st
Duncan, who owns V. & J. Duncan antique maps, prints and book store on Savannah's Monterey Square with his wife Ginger, met Berendt when the author first traveled to Savannah in the early 1990s, the paper said. According to the Duncans, the storyline...Read more
On the streets where history livedThe Warwick Advertiser, May 20th
The society's map collection, particularly the 1875 and 1903 Atlas maps, will be used to convey snapshots of the growth of the town's villages and hamlets. Tickets Since space is limited; reservations are requested by calling 845-986-3236 or joining...Read more
Broadway Picks Up Savannah Book ClassicGPB, May 20th
"John Berendt is very philosophical about it," says John Duncan, a Savannah antique map seller and friend of the author. "He likes the buzz and anything that can sell more books." Hamburger has hired Atlanta author Alfred Uhry of "Driving Miss Daisy...Read more
Cromwellian map collection website goes liveRTE.ie, May 13th
A new website, which brings a unique 17th-century map collection together for the first time in 300 years as a public online resource, is being launched in Trinity College Dublin this evening. The Down Survey website maps out for the first time in...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
Oh the Places You'll Go: 38000 Historical Maps to Explore at New Online LibraryThe Atlantic, April 30th
More than three decades ago, David Rumsey began building a map collection. By the mid-90s he had thousands and thousands of maps to call his own -- and his alone. He wanted to share them with the public. He could have donated them to the Library of...Read more