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The world is shown as encircled by the ocean. The Arab geographer , Muhammad al-Idrisi , incorporated the knowledge of Africa , the Indian Ocean and the Far East gathered by Arab merchants and explorers with the information inherited from the classical geographers to create the most accurate map of the world at the time. It remained the most accurate world map for the next three centuries. The Tabula Rogeriana was drawn by Al-Idrisi in for the Norman King Roger II of Sicily , after a stay of eighteen years at his court, where he worked on the commentaries and illustrations of the map.

The map, written in Arabic, shows the Eurasian continent in its entirety, but only shows the northern part of the African continent. The Ebstorf Map was an example of a European mappa mundi , made by Gervase of Ebstorf , who was possibly the same man as Gervase of Tilbury , [20] some time in the thirteenth century.

North Atlantic sailings prior to Christopher Columbus

It was a very large map: The head of Christ was depicted at the top of the map, with his hands on either side and his feet at the bottom. It represented Rome in the shape of a lion, and had an evident interest in the distribution of bishoprics. The map is signed by one "Richard of Haldingham or Lafford ". The writing is in black ink, with additional red and gold, and blue or green for water with the Red Sea coloured red. The captions demonstrate clearly the multiple functions of these large medieval maps, conveying a mass of information on Biblical subjects and general history, in addition to geography.

Jerusalem is drawn at the centre of the circle, east is on top, showing the Garden of Eden in a circle at the edge of the world 1. Curiously, the labels for Africa and Europe are reversed, with Europe scribed in red and gold as 'Africa', and vice versa. Italian geographer Pietro Vesconte was a pioneer of the field of the portolan chart.

Map: All of the World’s Borders by Age

His nautical charts are among the earliest to map the Mediterraean and Black Sea regions accurately. He also produced progressively more accurate depictions of the coastlines of northern Europe. In his world map of he brought his experience as a maker of portolans to bear; the map introduced a previously unheard of accuracy to the mappa mundi genre. The Catalan Atlas originally consisted of 6 vellum leaves folded down the middle painted in various colors including gold and silver.

The first two leaves contain texts in Catalan language covering cosmography , astronomy , and astrology. These texts are accompanied by illustrations. The texts and illustration emphasize the Earth's spherical shape and the state of the known world. They also provide information to sailors on tides and how to tell time at night.

Unlike many other nautical charts, the Catalan Atlas is read with the north at the bottom. As a result of this the maps are oriented from left to right, from the Far East to the Atlantic. The first two leaves, forming the oriental portion of the Catalan Atlas, illustrate numerous religious references as well as a synthesis of medieval mappae mundi Jerusalem located close to the centre and the travel literature of the time, notably Marco Polo 's Book of Marvels and the Travels and Voyage of Sir John Mandeville.

Many Indian and Chinese cities can be identified. Created under the supervision of Korean officials as part of a cultural project of the newly founded Joseon Dynasty , [27] it is the most familiar example of the known-world maps based on Chinese cartographic techniques with additional input from western sources, via Islamic scholarship in the Mongol Empire. Superficially similar to the Da Ming Hun Yi Tu which has been less well known in the West because it is kept in closed archive storage the Kangnido shows its Korean origin in the enlargement of that country, and incorporates vastly improved though wrongly positioned, scaled and oriented mapping of Japan.

Elsewhere, the map betrays a decorative rather than practical purpose, particularly in the portrayal of river systems, which form unnatural loops rarely seen on Chinese maps. Nonetheless, it is considered as "superior to anything produced in Europe prior to the end of the fifteenth century". The De Virga world map was made by Albertinus de Virga between and Albertin de Virga, a Venetian, is also known for a map of the Mediterranean, also made in Venice.

The world map is circular, drawn on a piece of parchment The first leaf contains a description of the Rule of marteloio for resolving the course, with the "circle and square", two tables and two other diagrams. The next eight leaves contain various navigation charts. And the final leaf contains the Ptolemaic world map on Ptolemy's first projection, with graduation. Some believe Bianco's maps were the first to correctly portray the coast of Florida, as a macro-peninsula is attached to a large island labeled Antillia. Bianco also collaborated with Fra Mauro on the Fra Mauro world map of Mainly a decoration piece, the Borgia map is a world map made sometime in the early 15th century, and engraved on a metal plate.

The Genoese map of is a world map that relied extensively on the account of the traveler to Asia Niccolo da Conti , rather than the usual source of Marco Polo.

This Massive Map Shows All of the World's Borders by Age

The map depicts the main landmarks of the time: Prester John in Africa, the Great Khan in China, "Xilam" Ceylom and Sumatra, and the design of a three-masted European ship in the Indian Ocean , something which had not occurred, suggesting that a sealane was a possibility. The original world map was made by Fra Mauro and his assistant Andrea Bianco, a sailor-cartographer, under a commission by king Afonso V of Portugal.

The map was completed on April 24, , and sent to Portugal , but did not survive to the present day. Fra Mauro died the next year while he was making a copy of the map for the Seignory of Venice, and the copy was completed by Andrea Bianco. The map is preserved in the Museo Correr in Venice. Both show heavy influences from Ptolemy , and both possibly derive from maps created around in Lisbon by Bartolomeo Columbus. Although Martellus is believed to have been born in Nuremberg, Behaim's home town, he lived and worked in Florence from to It is constructed of a laminated linen ball reinforced with wood and overlaid with a map painted by Georg Glockendon.

Map of Ages

It shows a rather enlarged Eurasian continent and an empty ocean between Europe and Asia. The Caribbean islands may already be represented as well, even before Colombus's return, under the name of the mythical Saint Brendan's Island. Japan and Asian islands are disproportionately large. The idea to call the globe "apple" may be related to the Reichsapfel "Imperial Apple", Globus cruciger which was also kept in Nuremberg along with the Imperial Regalia Reichskleinodien.

In , it was transferred to the Germanic Museum in Nuremberg.

It is the first known European cartographic representation of the Americas. It is now in the Museo Naval in Madrid. The Cantino planisphere or Cantino world map is the earliest surviving map showing Portuguese discoveries in the east and west.


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It is named after Alberto Cantino, an agent for the Duke of Ferrara , who successfully smuggled it from Portugal to Italy in It is hand drawn on parchment and coloured, being composed of ten sections or panels, measuring 2. Historians believe that this undated map signed with "Nicolay de Caveri Januensis" was completed in — It was probably either made in Lisbon by the Genoese Canveri, or copied by him in Genoa from the very similar Cantino map.

Johannes Ruysch an explorer, cartographer, astronomer and painter from the Low Countries produced the second oldest known printed representation of the New World. It uses Ptolemy 's coniform projection, as does the Contarini-Rosselli map. Both document Christopher Columbus ' discoveries as well as that of John Cabot , including information from Portuguese sources and Marco Polo 's account.


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There are notes on his map that clearly were from Portuguese sources. Newfoundland and Cuba are shown connected to Asia, as Columbus and Cabot believed. The presence of codfish is noted on the Ruysch map in the area of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and shows the discoveries the Portuguese had made along the African coast and shows India as a triangular peninsula with Ceylon in the correct proportion and position.

Greenland is shown connected to Newfoundland and Asia on Ruysch's map, and not Europe as earlier maps had showed. Around the north pole, Ruysch drew islands, based on reports in the book Inventio Fortunata of the English friar Nicholas of Lynne. The island above Norway shows remarkable similarities to Svalbard , which was not discovered until by Willem Barents.

The age of discovery and exploration

Along with a book they further incorporated, for the first time in history, the name America on a map, holding the strong opinion that it was a new continent that Amerigo Vespucci had discovered on his voyage and not only a few smaller islands as Christopher Columbus did in the West Indies.

The surviving third of the map shows part of the western coasts of Europe and North Africa with reasonable accuracy, and the coast of Brazil is also easily recognizable. Various Atlantic islands including the Azores and Canary Islands are depicted, as is the mythical island of Antillia.

The London Evolution Animation

The map is noteworthy for its apparent south-eastward extension of the American continent to depict a southern landmass that some controversially claim is evidence for early awareness of the existence of Antarctica. The map by Pietro Coppo was one of the last world maps to feature the " Dragon's Tail " extending southwards from the far eastern extremity of Asia, the last vestige of Ptolemy's landlocked depiction of the Indian Ocean, nearly 1, years earlier.

Diogo Ribeiro , a Portuguese cartographer working for Spain, made what is considered the first scientific world map: Ice Slices There are seven sovereign states with pie-slice-shaped territorial claims in Antarctica. There is currently a treaty in place that preserves freedom of scientific investigation and bans military activity on the continent. The Yemen—Saudi border was only officially demarcated in the year , and a 1, miles 1, km border fence soon followed. Where there is a war and upheaval, border changes often follow.

Breakaway states — an independent Catalan state, for example — are always a possibility as well. For now, the most likely changes to borders will continue be minor adjustments to fix lawless gaps between nations. These corrections are rarely easy to negotiate, but irregularities, like the one that led to founding of Liberland , can cause even bigger headaches for governments and local officials.

Get your mind blown on a daily basis: PisseGuri82, acknowledging the extreme complexity of the undertaking, outlined some caveats to consider: Here are some highlights from the map: Where will lines Shift next? Given email address is already subscribed, thank you!

Regional Maps of the Middle Ages

The Treaties of Tordesillas and Saragossa The first successful expeditions across the Atlantic Ocean raised the question of what to do with the archipelagos and new lands discovered by these navigators. In later centuries, other Greek geographers, including the most famous of them all Ptolemy, suggested a much lower figure for the circumference for our planet. This under-estimation was adopted by 15th century map-makers. His flotilla of three ships set sail from Southern Spain on 3 August He headed first for the Canary Islands, before setting off across the Atlantic Ocean and discovering islands near the American continent.

Gradually, the Europeans found themselves sailing along the coast of a new continent. It was financed by Spain, which hoped to gain access to these islands and their spices without crossing the Indian Ocean, then dominated by the Portuguese.