Archive | Ancient Maps

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Educational Map Series: The Lost Map of Joliet

25 Feb

The story told is that upon returning to Montreal, Canada, following his exploration of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River 1673-1674, with Jesuit missionary Jacques Marquette, Louis Joliet, at the request of French officials, drew from memory the “Nouvelle decouverte de plusieurs nations dans la Nouvelle France en l’année 1673 et 1674”, translated “New […]

Educational Map Series: Manhattan 1638- the first true map of Manhattan Island!

18 Feb

This beautiful manuscript map is the work of Dutch cartographer and watercolorist Joan Vinckeboons, published in 1639. Vinckeboons came from a family of artists and started out drawing for his father. Around 1640, he got into map-making and is known for his beautiful watercolor manuscript maps of the East and West Indies. His stunning works […]

Educational map Series: California’s First Appearance on a Map!

11 Feb

Join us every Sunday night for our Educational Map Series! For a century, Americae Sive Quartae Orbis Partis Nova Et Exactissima Descriptio (A New and Most Exact Description of America or The Fourth Part of the World) remained the largest map of the Americas. The number of copies that were printed for circulation is unknown, […]


04 Feb
the lost map of drake small jpg

  Originally produced by Dutch cartographer and engraver Nicola van Sype, and perhaps published in Antwerp in 1581, La herdike enterprise faict par le Signeur Draeck D’Avoir cirquit toute la Terre is believed to be drawn from a copy of the Queen’s map, also known as the “Whitehall Map,” a large scale map that Francis […]

Catalan Atlas: Portolan Meets Mappa Mundi

20 Jun

Referred to as one of the last great mappa mundis before the emergence of ptolemic maps in the 15th century, the Catalan Atlas was produced in 1375, with the originals in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (National Library of France) in Paris today. The creator of the Catalan Atlas is believed to be the Majorcan […]

The story of old maps

13 Jun

Mapmaking or cartography has been a part of our world’s history since ancient times.  In truth, many specialists agree that map making had its beginning with cave paintings.  However, the oldest known maps are carved on Babylonian clay tablets dating to about 2300 B.C. These maps were considered extremely advanced in Old World Greece. In […]

Hereford Mappa Mundi

06 Jun

This great, detailed, and elaborately decorated mappa mundi is believed to be the only surviving complete example of a medieval wall map of the world. It is housed in Hereford Cathedral in Hereford, England. The precise date and creator of this mappa mundi is unknown, but speculations have filled that void. Some scholars believe that […]

The Portolan Mystery: Carte Pisane Antique Map

30 May

The Portolan Mystery: Carte Pisane   The mystery that is Carte Pisane Antique Map  is one of the most important documents in the history of navigation. The Carte Pisane is the earliest surviving portolan chart that is speculated to have been drawn between 1290 and 1300, and is now located in the Bibliothèque Nationale Library […]

The Sawley Mappa Mundi c.1190 Antiquarian Map

11 Mar

The Sawley Mappa Mundi c.1190   Modern eyes look for maps to be topographical with large-scale detail, contour lines, and accurate graphic representation of natural and cultural features of a region. They tend to serve as significant points of reference and as a navigation tool. These are the types of maps that generally make sense […]