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New Website on Martin Waldseemüller

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The Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress and the Galileo Museum in Florence, Italy, today unveiled a multi-media interactive website that celebrates the life and times of 16th-century cartographer Martin Waldseemüller, who created the 1507 World Map, which is the first document to use the name “America,” represent the Pacific Ocean and depict a separate and full Western Hemisphere.

1507 Waldseemüller map. Geography and Map Division.
1507 Waldseemüller map. Geography and Map Division.

The website, “A Land Beyond the Stars,” brings the map’s wealth of historical, technical, scientific and geographic data to a broader public. Interactive videos explain the sciences of cartography and astronomy and the state of navigational and geographic knowledge during the time of Waldseemüller. Developed with materials from the Library of Congress and other libraries around the world, the name of the website stems from Waldseemüller’s use of a passage from Roman poet Virgil, which can be found in the upper left corner of the 1507 map.

The 1507 map is the crown jewel of the unparalleled collections of maps and atlases in the Geography and Map Division at the Library of Congress. It is the only known surviving copy of the first printed edition of the map, which, some scholars believe, consisted of 1,000 copies. In 2003, the Library purchased Waldseemüller’s 1507 map from Prince Waldburg-Wolfegg in Baden-Württenberg, Germany, whose family owned it—and Waldseemüller’s 1516 Carta Marina, a nautical map of the entire world—for many centuries. Jay I. Kislak, a member of the Library’s James Madison Council, a private-sector advisory group, purchased the Carta Marina and donated it to the Library in 2014.

In 1507, cartographers in St. Dié, near Strasbourg, France, undertook an ambitious project to document and update new geographic knowledge derived from the discoveries of the late 15th and the first years of the 16th centuries. Waldseemüller’s world map was the most exciting product of that effort and included data gathered during Amerigo Vespucci’s voyages of 1501–1502 to the New World. Waldseemüller christened the new lands “America” in recognition of Vespucci’s understanding that a new continent had been uncovered, as a result of the voyages of Columbus and other explorers in the late 15th century.

The Galileo Museum, in collaboration with the Library of Congress, created the online multimedia presentation. Ente Cassa di Risparmio, a foundation in Florence, sponsored the project.

Comments (3)

  1. I’m seen it as a wonder that more than deserve to be seen.

  2. “A Land Beyond The Stars”

    This is an article from my blog with the same title.

    I borrowed this title from a new website created by the Library of Congress which ” celebrates the life and times of Martin Waldseemuller, who created the 1507 World Map, which is the first document to use the name “America””. He lived in the 16th Century.

    The title comes from a passage of the Roman Poet Virgil, which was placed on the upper left corner of the map of 1507.

    Some may not know it’s true significance.

    Such as, here is a question and answer.

    How are the words America, Oregon, Iargalon, and Aragon related?

    They all share the same definition!


    Ok, The name America in the old German Bible was used to define the “Kingdom of Heaven”.

    In the ancient Kemetic Egyptian language the name of America is translated as ” The Beloved Eternal Spirit “, which they called ” Mat ” and signified the life giving energy of the Sun.

    The Native American Indian tribes also associated the Sun with what they called the “Great Spirit”.

    Now in it’s earliest pictographic form, the conceptualization of the “Kingdom of Heaven” was expressed in the setting of the sun.

    Preceding the Germans were the Normans which is where you get Norway.For the most part, the earliest tribes to the north of the European continent were from “Flanders” which is where you get the word France.

    Ok, so here is where it gets interestingly.

    The Vikings sailed to the American Continent to a place they called Iargalon.

    Now it’s important to stop here and say that the American continent had been known about in the old world from very ancient times.

    It was well associated with legends and mythologies, which stemmed from the earliest migration of Asians which are considered to be the ancestors of the Native Americans. (Please read on)

    They brought mythological stories with them and reoriented themselves in the Pacific Northwest, and then spread out from there.

    These tribes interacted in various ways with the old world, but might have had their communication broken off at a later period of time.

    News of the Americas spread across the old world from the far east, particularly maps.

    Such knowledge might have also been common in the west, especially considering the possibility of continental shift.

    Certainly, knowledge of this continent was widespread throughout the world from very ancient times.

    Certainly, there are many similarities in beliefs and practices between the American Indians and African Tribes.

    But getting back to the vikings, scientist have found what are called ancient Rune Stones with markings and engravings in what may be considered “Ogham Script”.

    Without going into much detail, the “Iargalon Stone” found on the east coast of North America reads ” Precinct of the God’s of the Land Beyond the Sunset”. Such stories abound and match up perfectly with ancient stories found within what was earlier called the “Land of the Oregon”(Oregon Country).

    Oregon was very early on called the “Land of the Setting Sun”, and was and still is a vital central component of the vision of Americas founding fathers, such ad Thomas Jefferson, and of strategic interest as well.

    Native American tribes, using stories, identified the “Ouregon River” with the constellation Orion.

    The Etymological definition of Oregon and Orion are the same. Oh!Re (Sun) Gon (Descend)! Signifying the Winter Solstice as the “light which is to come”, which is the definition of Orion,or the “King(dom/from) Heaven”. This term relates to the Biblical term “Maranatha”.

    Asians likely came over to the Americas during the Great Ice Age “In Search of the Great Light”.

    Finally, Oregon and “Aragon” mean the same thing. The name Aragon is associated with the earlier “Principality of Aragon” in upper Spain and Portugal, which derived it’s name from the mythical land where Perseus was born in Greek mythology (Kingdom of Heaven). Aragon was a city in ancient Greece.

    The Etymological definition of this name is exactly that of Oregon.

    This is given that the letter “A” and “O” shared the same expression in ancient alphabets as sharing both a beginning and an end. (I believe alphabets were turned around at some very early date in human history)

    This story goes much further. For those of you interested in delving deeper and would like to find out the true “lost history” as well as the answer to the “missing” White House and Capital Cornerstone anomoly, you may stay tuned and visit my blog at:

    Matt Chappell

  3. Oh Wornderful Masterpiece…

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