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Atlas of Joan Martines
This manuscript atlas by Joan Martines, cosmographer to King Philip II of Spain, dated 1587, represents the combination of two cartographic schools that existed at the time of its creation. The older one was the traditional school of Majorca, which specialized in decorative portolan maps that by this time were obsolete with regard to the geographic information they conveyed. The newer one was the cartographic school of the Low Countries, which applied Renaissance principles and used different forms of cartographic representation based on new concepts in astronomy, mathematics, and geography ...
Etymologiae (Etymology) is the best known work by Saint Isidore of Seville (circa 560–636), a scholar and theologian considered the last of the great Latin Church Fathers. It takes its name from a method of teaching that proceeds by explaining the origins and meaning of each word related to a topic. Saint Isidore drew on many different sources in his attempt to summarize all ancient knowledge and save it for posterity. The fame of the work led to it being widely copied and disseminated, and its popularity lasted even ...
Revised World Map
This world map was completed by Takahashi Kageyasu (1785−1829) of Tenmonkata (the office in charge of astronomy). He began the work on the 1807 by order of the shogunate government, with the assistance of astronomer Hazama Shigetomi and Dutch interpreter Baba Sajūrō, who was summoned to Edo (present-day Tokyo) from Nagasaki in 1808. Kageyasu submitted the first version of the map to the government in 1810. The East Asian region was later revised and this version of the map was etched by Aōdō Denzen in 1816. The year of ...
A Complete Portrayal of the Earth
This 1795 impression of a woodcut based on Oronce Fine’s 1534 heart-shaped map of the world is attributed to a cartographer from Tunis named Hajji Ahmad. At first glance, the map’s accompanying Ottoman Turkish text appears to be a captivating, first-person account of Hajji Ahmad’s remarkable odyssey across the Mediterranean. Upon closer inspection, cartography scholars have questioned the map’s authenticity and authorship. The text contains errors, and European sources such as Giovanni Battista Ramusio’s Delle Navigationi et Viaggi (Travels and voyages) appear to have influenced ...
Brief Records of the World
Ying huan zhi lue (Brief records of the world) by Xu Jiyu and Hai guo tu zhi (Illustrated introduction to countries over the seas) by Wei Yuan are the first two masterpieces of modern China on world history. They are great collected works on the geography of Asia produced during the mid-19th century. Xu Jiyu’s book was completed in the 28th year of the Daoguang reign (1848), in 10 juan and 200,000 characters. After its publication it became very popular and widely disseminated. The key feature is its ...
Map of the Old World, 1752
Didier Robert de Vaugondy (1723−86) was from a line of famous geographers and cartographers. He was the great-grandson of Nicolas Sanson (1600−1667) and the son of Gilles Robert de Vaugondy (1688−1766), with whom he created a universal atlas of 108 maps. This atlas, which was first published in 1757, included the world map of 1752 presented here. The efforts by the great explorers notwithstanding, the world as drawn by the cartographers of this period remained very incomplete, especially with regards to the American and Australian continents. In ...
A Modern Depiction of the World, Done by Philippus Eckebrecht, Citizen of Nuremberg, for the Sole Reason of Bringing the Depiction into Line with the Equator According to the Astronomical Tabulae Rudophinae: Financed by Ioannes Kepler and Engraved at Nuremberg by J. P. Walch
Although dated 1630, this “modern depiction of the world,” by Philippus Eckebrecht appears to be a later reprinting. It is dedicated to Emperor Leopold I of the Holy Roman Empire, who came to the throne only in 1658. The map was originally produced at the behest of astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) to reflect his new calculations of longitude and latitude based on planetary observation. First published in 1627, Kepler’s astronomical tables were vastly more accurate than any previously existing. Framed by the two-headed eagle of the Holy Roman Empire ...
Modern and Completely Correct Map of the Entire World
This mid-17th century “modern and completely correct map” of the entire world was printed in Amsterdam by Joan Blaeu (1596-1673), a member of the Blaeu family that helped to define mapmaking during the Dutch golden age. Beginning in the 16th century, the Blaeu firm produced some of Europe’s most renowned maps, globes, and atlases. After studying under Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, Joan’s father, Willem Blaeu (1571-1638), founded the company in 1596. In 1633 he was appointed official chartmaker to the Dutch East India Company, an office that passed ...
New and Accurate Map of the World
Nicolaus Visscher (also spelled Nicolas, Nicolaes) was the third generation of a prominent mapmaking family active at the height of the golden age of Dutch cartography. The Visschers were known throughout Europe for the accuracy of their maps and the innovative ornamentation of their works. The founder of the business, C.J. Visscher, was a contemporary of other well-known Dutch mapmakers, such as Pieter van den Keere and Jodocus Hondius. After he died, his son, Nicolaus Visscher I, carried on the business. He was known for his use of patriotic ...
Atlas of the World
The Ch’ŏnha chido (Atlas of the world) is a 19th century copy of the traditional Korean atlas produced in the early Chosŏn dynasty (1392-1910). One of the maps in the atlas, "Ch’ŏnhado" (Map of the world), is a unique and popular China-centered world map seen in Korean perspective. The typical contents of the traditional Korean atlases during this period consist of the following: a world map bearing the title Ch’ŏnhado, a map of Korea, maps of the eight provinces of Korea, and maps of neighboring countries--China, Japan ...
Map of the Entire World
This early-16th century map by Martin Waldseemüller (1470-1521) is the only known copy of this particular world map, and contains an early appearance of the name “America.” The map is generally known as the “Admiral's Map,” because at one time it was believed to have been the work of Columbus, often referred to as “the Admiral.” Waldseemüller was a German scholar and cartographer who, in 1507, published Cosmographiaie Introductio (Introduction to cosmography) in which he suggested that the New World be called “America.” In the same year, Waldseemüller and ...
Manusyaloka, Map of the Human World
Jainism is an Indian religion, which was founded by Vardhamana Mahavira, a spiritual leader called the Jina (conqueror), in the sixth century B.C. Jainism teaches nonviolence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice rely mainly on the effort of advancing the soul on the spiritual ladder to divine consciousness in a universe that has no beginning or end. Jainism has its own version of geography and cosmology, in which the universe is divided into three kingdoms: the upper is the realm of the heavens and the celestials; the ...
Land Planisphere Showing Longitude
This 1696 polar projection world map by Jacques Cassini (1677–1756) is the replica and only surviving representation of the large, 7.80-meter diameter planisphere by his father, Jean-Dominique Cassini (1625–1712). The first director of the Paris Observatory, the elder Cassini had designed the planisphere on the floor of one of the observatory's towers, using astronomical observations performed by correspondents of the Academy of Sciences. The map shows 43 places, from Quebec to Santiago, from Goa to Beijing, each marked with a star, with latitudes accurately measured using ...
A Map of the Entire World According to the Traditional Method of Ptolemy and Corrected with Other Lands of Amerigo Vespucci
Martin Waldseemüller's 1507 world map was the first map to depict a separate Western hemisphere with the Pacific as a separate ocean. The map grew out of an ambitious project in St. Dié, France, during the early 1500s, to document and update new geographic knowledge derived from the Portuguese and Spanish explorations of the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Waldseemüller's map was the most exciting product of that research effort. It drew upon data gathered during Amerigo Vespucci's 1501-02 voyages to the New World. In recognition ...
A Modern and Complete Map of the World by the Royal Mathematician Oronce Fine of the Dauphiné
An astronomer and mathematician, from 1531 the first chair of mathematics in the Collège Royal (the present-day Collège de France), Oronce Fine (1494–1555) was one of the first French scholars to work with cartography. His world map in the shape of a heart belongs to a group of 18 heart-shaped projection maps published between 1511 and 1566. Inspired by one of the projections described by the second-century geographer, Ptolemy, this projection system was codified by a mathematician in Nuremberg, Johannes Werner (1468–1522), in an opus written in 1514 ...
Great Universal Geographic Map
Matteo Ricci was born in Macerata, Italy, in 1552. In 1571, he entered the Society of Jesus and began his novitiate at the College of Rome, where he studied theology and philosophy as well as mathematics, cosmology, and astronomy. In 1577, Ricci asked to be sent as a missionary to Asia. He arrived in Portuguese Goa (present-day India) in September 1578, where he was ordained in July 1580. He worked in Goa and in Cochin (present-day Kochi, India) for four years, until he was summoned to join the fledgling Jesuit ...
Atlas of Korea with a World Map
This is an atlas dating from the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). It contains 13 maps, the first one being an overview map of Korea, followed by maps of its prefectures. Near the end is a world map entitled “Map of land under heaven,” which shows 81 countries. The atlas also includes maps for China, Japan, and the Ryukyu Islands. The maps are placed at the center of each double-page spread of the volume, with explanatory texts on the sides.
Cosmographical Map or Universal Description of the World with the Actual Path of the Winds
This world map, made in Dieppe, northern France, in 1570, is thought to be the only extant map by Jean Cossin (also seen as Jehan and Johan Cossin), a hydrographer from Dieppe known in his time as an excellent maker of marine maps. It is entitled Carte cosmographique ou universelle description du monde avec le vrai traict des vents (Cosmographical map or universal description of the world with the actual path of the winds). The map is framed on an original projection, known as sinusoidal, in which the meridians are ...
Great China Embracing the Kingdoms under Heaven
This rare Chinese map of the world is an important example of Chinese cartography from the early 19th century. The map is a hand-colored wood-block print, first published in Beijing by Zhu Xiling. China is at the center of the map, which shows the Great Wall, Lop Nur Desert, provincial divisions, provincial and regional capitals, military outposts, local settlements, and the main waterways and rivers. Hainan, Taiwan, Java Island, Brunei, Johore, Vietnam, and Cambodia are delineated. America and other Western countries are represented as an array of amorphous and inconsequential ...
Little is known about the 15th-century Venetian geographer and cosmographer Giovanni Leardo, beyond the fact that three of his world maps have survived from late-medieval times, signed by their creator. This is the oldest world map held in the library of the American Geographical Society, and it is considered the finest example of a medieval mappamundi in the Western hemisphere. Leardo’s two other maps, similar but not identical, are in Italy, at the Biblioteca Comunale in Verona and the Museo Civico in Vicenza. The map depicts the parts of ...
World Map on Double Cordiform Projection
This world map on two sheets is an early work of the famous Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator (1512–94). Only two copies of the map are extant: this one from the American Geographical Society Library, and one at the New York Public Library. This is also the first map to apply the name America to the North American continent as well as to South America and to differentiate North and South America as separate continents. In using the term “America” in this way, Mercator shares responsibility with Martin Waldseemüller for ...