Mapping the world

 

World map from the Ulm edition of Ptolemy's Geographia 1482 (public domain image)
World map from the Ulm edition of Ptolemy’s Geographia 1482 (public domain image)

Ashley and Miles Baynton-Williams
New Worlds: Maps from the Age of Discovery
Quercus 2008

It’s a rare being who is not fascinated by maps. Tourists and visitors, walkers, fans of epic fantasy, students and readers of self-help books with mind-maps all appreciate a bit of good cartography, and the modern virtual world is awash with them as the options on any search engine will demonstrate. Their function is to be informative of course, but they can also be works of art in their own right and items of interest to antiquarians, collectors, lawyers, historians and a whole host of other specialists. Not forgetting any old Tom, Dick or Harriet now profiting from this general availability online — just as in the Renaissance period a rich middle class were profiting from more easily acquired maps due to the invention of printing.

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