Mercator Map from 59 Degrees to 62 Degrees Latitude North, Showing the Road from the City of Okhotsk Astride the Maia and Iudoma Rivers


Presented here is a manuscript Mercator map that shows the route between the Siberian cities of Okhotsk and Yakutsk, mainly along the Maya and Yudoma Rivers, located in the region between the latitudes of 59° and 62° North. The map was drawn in 1788 by the famous explorer and ship captain, Gavriil Sarychev (1763–1831), who surveyed vast portions of the Arctic and North Pacific Oceans in the late 18th century. Sarychev’s visit to the region depicted on the map took place at the time of the famous Billings-Sarychev Expedition (1785–92), in which he explored the eastern reaches of the Russian Empire in tandem with English captain Joseph Billings, who had been hired by Empress Catherine the Great for his maritime expertise. The map shows the valleys of the Maya and Yudoma Rivers in detail, including the locations of rapids and shoals as well as tributaries. Forested cliffs are indicated on the map, with representations of heavy forestation shown by tree symbols. Relief in the river valleys is indicated by brown shading. The city of Yakutsk is shown just off the upper-left-hand corner of the map, while the city of Okhotsk is indicated in the lower-right-hand corner along the Pacific coast (Sea of Okhotsk). A small black line in the upper-left-hand corner identifies the road that stretched from Yakutsk to the nearest point on the river system that led to Okhotsk. Geographic coordinates for longitude on this map are measured from Ferro (present-day Hierro), the westernmost of the Canary Islands (the western edge of the world known to the ancients), used by geographers back to the time of Ptolemy as a base point prior to the agreement in 1884 that the prime meridian would run through Greenwich, England.

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

Меркаторская карта от 59 до 62 градусов северной широты, представляющая дорогу от города Охотска по рекам Мая и Юдом

Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : color ; 50 x 106 centimeters

Last updated: February 7, 2018