Antique Maps of Greece

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The horizontal scale is , and the vertical scale is ,, In , Luo Hongxian published the Guang Yutu atlas, including more than 40 maps, a grid system, and a systematic way of representing major landmarks such as mountains, rivers, roads and borders. From the 16th and 17th centuries, several examples survive of maps focused on cultural information.

Gridlines are not used on either Yu Shi 's Gujin xingsheng zhi tu or Zhang Huang 's Tushu bian ; instead, illustrations and annotations show mythical places, exotic foreign peoples, administrative changes and the deeds of historic and legendary heroes. After the revolution , the Institute of Geography under the aegis of the Chinese Academy of Sciences became responsible for official cartography and emulated the Soviet model of geography throughout the s.

Indian cartographic traditions covered the locations of the Pole star and other constellations of use. Detailed maps of considerable length describing the locations of settlements, sea shores, rivers, and mountains were also made. Maps from the Ain-e-Akbari , a Mughal document detailing India's history and traditions, contain references to locations indicated in earlier Indian cartographic traditions.

In the Middle Ages, Muslim scholars continued and advanced on the mapmaking traditions of earlier cultures. Most used Ptolemy's methods; but they also took advantage of what explorers and merchants learned in their travels across the Muslim world, from Spain to India to Africa, and beyond in trade relationships with China, and Russia. An important influence in the development of cartography was the patronage of the Abbasid caliph , al-Ma'mun , who reigned from to He commissioned several geographers to remeasure the distance on earth that corresponds to one degree of celestial meridian.

These efforts also enabled Muslims to calculate the circumference of the earth.


Al-Mamun also commanded the production of a large map of the world, which has not survived, [58] : 61—63 though it is known that its map projection type was based on Marinus of Tyre rather than Ptolemy. Also in the 9th century, the Persian mathematician and geographer, Habash al-Hasib al-Marwazi , employed spherical trigonometry and map projection methods in order to convert polar coordinates to a different coordinate system centred on a specific point on the sphere, in this the Qibla , the direction to Mecca.

The geographers of this school also wrote extensively of the peoples, products, and customs of areas in the Muslim world, with little interest in the non-Muslim realms. The orthogonal parallel lines were separated by one degree intervals, and the map was limited to Southwest Asia and Central Asia.

The earliest surviving world maps based on a rectangular coordinate grid are attributed to al-Mustawfi in the 14th or 15th century who used invervals of ten degrees for the lines , and to Hafiz-i Abru died Ibn Battuta —? In these maps the distances between various "stops" cities or rivers were equalized.

The only shapes used in designs were verticals, horizontals, degree angles, and arcs of circles; unnecessary geographical details were eliminated. This approach is similar to that used in subway maps, most notable used in the " London Underground Tube Map " in by Harry Beck. In terms of latitude, he portioned the known world into seven 'climes', determined by the length of the longest day.

Antique Maps of Greece & the Balkans

In his maps, many dominant geographical features can be found. It is a revised and completed version of Ptolemy 's Geography , consisting of a list of coordinates of cities and other geographical features following a general introduction. Al-Ma'mun's geographers "also depicted the Atlantic and Indian Oceans as open bodies of water , not land-locked seas as Ptolemy had done. Most medieval Muslim geographers continued to use al-Khwarizmi's prime meridian. Abu Rayhan al-Biruni — gave an estimate of 6, In contrast to his predecessors who measured the Earth's circumference by sighting the Sun simultaneously from two different locations, Al-Biruni developed a new method of using trigonometric calculations based on the angle between a plain and mountain top which yielded more accurate measurements of the Earth's circumference and made it possible for it to be measured by a single person from a single location.

This was the earliest known use of dip angle and the earliest practical use of the law of sines.

Around , Al-Biruni was the first to describe a polar equi- azimuthal equidistant projection of the celestial sphere. In his Codex Masudicus , Al-Biruni theorized the existence of a landmass along the vast ocean between Asia and Europe , or what is today known as the Americas. He deduced its existence on the basis of his accurate estimations of the Earth's circumference and Afro-Eurasia 's size, which he found spanned only two-fifths of the Earth's circumference, and his discovery of the concept of specific gravity , from which he deduced that the geological processes that gave rise to Eurasia must've also given rise to lands in the vast ocean between Asia and Europe.

He also theorized that the landmass must be inhabited by human beings, which he deduced from his knowledge of humans inhabiting the broad north-south band stretching from Russia to South India and Sub-Saharan Africa , theorizing that the landmass would most likely lie along the same band. He 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 in pre-modern times.

Notable features include the correct dual sources of the Nile, the coast of Ghana and mentions of Norway. Climate zones were a chief organizational principle.


A second and shortened copy from called Garden of Joys is known by scholars as the Little Idrisi. On the work of al-Idrisi, S. Scott commented: [72]. The compilation of Edrisi marks an era in the history of science. Not only is its historical information most interesting and valuable, but its descriptions of many parts of the earth are still authoritative. For three centuries geographers copied his maps without alteration.

The relative position of the lakes which form the Nile, as delineated in his work, does not differ greatly from that established by Baker and Stanley more than seven hundred years afterwards, and their number is the same.

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The mechanical genius of the author was not inferior to his erudition. The celestial and terrestrial planisphere of silver which he constructed for his royal patron was nearly six feet in diameter, and weighed four hundred and fifty pounds; upon the one side the zodiac and the constellations, upon the other—divided for convenience into segments—the bodies of land and water, with the respective situations of the various countries, were engraved.

Al-Idrisi's atlas, originally called the Nuzhat in Arabic, served as a major tool for Italian, Dutch and French mapmakers from the 16th century to the 18th century. The work includes an atlas of charts for small segments of the mediterranean, accompanied by sailing instructions covering the sea. In the second version of the work, he included a map of the Americas.

The Polynesian peoples who explored and settled the Pacific islands in the first two millennia AD used maps to navigate across large distances. A surviving map from the Marshall Islands uses sticks tied in a grid with palm strips representing wave and wind patterns, with shells attached to show the location of islands.

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Medieval maps of the world in Europe were mainly symbolic in form along the lines of the much earlier Babylonian World Map. Known as Mappa Mundi clothes of the world these maps were circular or symmetrical cosmological diagrams representing the Earth's single land mass as disk-shaped and surrounded by ocean. Roger Bacon 's investigations of map projections and the appearance of portolano and then portolan charts for plying the European trade routes were rare innovations of the period.

The Majorcan school is contrasted with the contemporary Italian cartography school. The Carta Pisana portolan chart, made at the end of the 13th century — , is the oldest surviving nautical chart that is, not simply a map but a document showing accurate navigational directions. The Majorcan cartographic school was a predominantly Jewish cooperation of cartographers , cosmographers and navigational instrument -makers in late 13th to the 14th and 15th-century Majorca.

With their multicultural heritage the Majorcan cartographic school experimented and developed unique cartographic techniques most dealing with the Mediterranean, as it can be seen in the Catalan Atlas. It was a contemporary superior, detailed nautical model chart, gridded by compass lines.

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In the Renaissance , with the renewed interest in classical works, maps became more like surveys once again, while the discovery of the Americas by Europeans and the subsequent effort to control and divide those lands revived interest in scientific mapping methods. Peter Whitfield, the author of several books on the history of maps, credits European mapmaking as a factor in the global spread of western power: "Men in Seville, Amsterdam or London had access to knowledge of America, Brazil, or India, while the native peoples knew only their own immediate environment" Whitfield.

Jordan Branch and his advisor, Steven Weber , propose that the power of large kingdoms and nation states of later history are an inadvertent byproduct of 15th-century advances in map-making technologies. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Iberian powers Kingdom of Spain and Kingdom of Portugal were at the vanguard of European overseas exploration, discovering and mapping the coasts of the Americas , Africa , and Asia , in what became known as the Age of Discovery also known as the Age of Exploration.

Spain and Portugal were magnets for the talent, science and technology from the Italian city-states. Portugal's methodical expeditions started in along West Africa 's coast under the sponsorship of Prince Henry the Navigator , with Bartolomeu Dias reaching the Cape of Good Hope and entering the Indian Ocean in Ten years later, in , Vasco da Gama led the first fleet around Africa to India , arriving in Calicut and starting a maritime route from Portugal to India.

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  7. In , when a Spanish expedition headed by Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus sailed west to find a new trade route to the Far East but inadvertently found the Americas. Columbus's first two voyages —93 reached the Bahamas and various Caribbean islands , including Hispaniola , Puerto Rico and Cuba. The Spanish cartographer and explorer Juan de la Cosa sailed with Columbus. He created the first known cartographic representations showing both the Americas.

    The post era is known as the period of the Columbian Exchange , a dramatically widespread exchange of animals, plants, culture, human populations including slaves , communicable disease, and ideas between the American and Afro-Eurasian hemispheres following the Voyages of Christopher Columbus to the Americas. The Magellan-Elcano circumnavigation was the first known voyage around the world in human history. It was a Spanish expedition that sailed from Seville in under the command of Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan in search of a maritime path from the Americas to the East Asia across the Pacific Ocean.

    They arrived in Spain three years after they left, in The Spanish House of Trade , founded in Seville, had a large contingent of cartographers, as Spain's overseas empire expanded. Diogo's map delineates very precisely the coasts of Central and South America. The map shows, for the first time, the real extension of the Pacific Ocean.

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    It also shows the demarcation of the Treaty of Tordesillas. Their maps were based on information they received from returning navigators.

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    Using repeatable principles that underpin mapmaking, their map making techniques could be employed anywhere. Philip II sought extensive information about his overseas empire, both in written textual form and in the production of maps. Until the fall of Antwerp , the Dutch and Flemish were generally seen as one people, Frisians , specifically. The center for cartographic activities in sixteenth-century Low Countries was Antwerp , a city of printers, booksellers, engravers, and artists. But Leuven was the center of learning and the meeting place of scholars and students at the university.

    Mathematics, globemaking, and instrumentmaking were practiced in and around the University of Leuven as early as the first decades of the sixteenth century.

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