For anyone with even a passing interest in Islamic history or cartography, 'The Book of Curiosities of the Sciences and Marvels for the Eyes'
site at Oxford University's Bodleian Library will provide a thoroughly interesting timesink. This recently discovered 13th/14th century copy of an 11th century Egyptian manuscript was partly based on Ptolemy and includes the oldest rectangular map of the world...not to mention the famed human-bearing Waq-Waq
posted by peacay
on Apr 5, 2007 -
is a skill pretty much taken for granted now, but it wasn't
. Accurate maps were once prized state secrets, laborious efforts that cost a fortune and took years (or even decades) to complete.
How things have changed. (Yours now, $110
) It took almost 500 years to map North America, but it's only taken one tenth of that to map just everything else. In the last 50 years, we've been able to create acurate atlases of two planets
and one moon
(with a second
in the works). Actually, we've done a lot more than that
. We're actually running out of things to map.
posted by absalom
on Jan 27, 2005 -
The Rise and Fall of the Black Voter
is a remarkable sequence of maps graphically describing the realignment of voting patterns in the U.S. during the past century (read this
for a bit more context). It is an excellent companion to the purple
maps of the most recent election, and a nice antidote to simplistic
comparisons of pre-Civil War and recent electoral college maps. Republicans can bask in the glow of their successful "Southern Strategy
," while Democrats can take heart that change, while often slow, is still possible
posted by googly
on Dec 15, 2004 -
Piri Reis Map
I am a sucker for those books that hypothesize that Earth was visited by extra-terrestrials in the distant pass. One artifact that is brought up in nearly all of them is The Piri Reis Map
, a document that seems to be a map includes parts of the world (such as Antarctica's ice-covered mountains) that were thought to be very recent discoveries. But, are they a hoax
posted by synecdoche
on Apr 21, 2004 -
The Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World
provides beautiful detailed topographical maps
of the ancient world. A mammoth undertaking in production over 12 years with 160 scholars and cartographers (with help from MapQuest) and estimated to cost over $5 million it is the largest and most accurate Ancient World Atlas ever. Composed of 99 maps
) the Atlas is easily available
to the layperson. "If you're gripped by Hannibal and want to sort out which way you think he went through the Alps, you'll have enough of a clear landscape to do it. If you want to follow St. Paul around the eastern Mediterranean, you can."
posted by stbalbach
on Jul 16, 2003 -
of very beautiful Old Japanese Maps
has been put online. Java application Insight(tm) required to view and includes a nifty GIS application to overlay old maps on current maps with 3-D animated fly-throughs. State of the art in online map presentation "The digital images are even better than the originals because you can amplify them, rotate them to look at them from different angles," Mr. Zhou said. "In practical terms, this is a better way of using the material than actually coming here to see the pieces."
posted by stbalbach
on Apr 13, 2003 -
Recent events have sent me all over bookstores and the web to look at and learn from maps. This is the best, and one of the least known sites. For current events, try the Middle East
sections, but don't miss the incredibel Historical
posted by geronimo_rex
on Oct 4, 2001 -
The Hereford Mappa Mundi (Map the World) is a remarkably beautiful and rare glimpse into the medieval view the world. It is the largest map its kind (54 x 64 inches) to have survived and dates from around 1295. It still resides at Hereford Cathedral in England just as it has done for the last 700 years.
The map depicts the world as a flat disk with east at the top. It shows all the features the then known world including Africa, India and China. Paradise is depicted somewhere east India. The Holy Land and its important sites expand to fill the middle the map. Jerusalem is placed at the centre the world.
It is a work of cosmology as much as a cartography. That is, it seeks to explain the world as well as merely depict its features. This was a time when the population was uneducated and provincial. In the Hereford map, people could revel in this vision of the outside world, which taught natural history, classical legends, explained the winds and reinforced their religious beliefs.
Here is a simplified sketch
which makes the details and country names easier to identify. Here is the original
and a very good written description
posted by lagado
on Oct 30, 2000 -