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Category: 17th century cartography

image of map of Carolina

Spring Presentation on Indigenous Cartography

Posted by: Carissa Pastuch

Join us online May 2, 2024, for a Spring Presentation with two conversations on indigenous cartography. At 3:00pm Lauren Beck, Canada Research Chair in Intercultural Encounter and Professor of Visual and Material Culture Studies at Mount Allison University, Canada, will discuss Extractive Place Naming Practices in Early Modern North America. At 5:00pm S. Max Edelson, …

Photo of a hand holding a copper plate engraved with a map of Chicago, showing a side view of the thin plate

Fabricating the World: Copperplate Printing

Posted by: Amelia Raines

Copperplate printing was a major method of map production for several hundred years. This post explores the history of printing maps with engraved copper plates, featuring several example maps and photographs of copper plates from the Geography and Map Division collections. This is the first post in a new series about map printing and creation, Fabricating the World.

Southern Lands, Explorers, and Bears – Oh My!

Posted by: Amelia Raines

The story of the naming of America has been told before – not surprisingly considering the object central to the story, Martin Waldseemüller’s 1507 world map, is one of the most important treasures in the Geography and Map Division. The name was bestowed by the mapmaker to show his support for Amerigo Vespucci’s argument that …

The Elusive Isle of Demons

Posted by: Cynthia Smith

Starting in the 16th century, an island off the coast of Newfoundland was labeled as the “Isle of Demons.” Rumors spread that those who ventured near the island heard strange noises. Mariners believed that the Isle of Demons was inhabited by evil spirits; they were afraid to visit the island or to sail near it. …

A landsat image of part of Iceland.

Mapping the Land of Fire and Ice

Posted by: Cynthia Smith

Early maps of Iceland are compelling, they are often embellished with sea monsters and pictorials. Modern maps of the country are equally interesting because of the unique shape and terrain of the island. Iceland, with its glaciers and volcanoes, is accurately nicknamed the “Land of Fire and Ice.” The maps of Iceland featured in this …

Illustrated and illuminated map of the northern Indian Ocean showing ships, islands, wildlife, cities, and people

Winds of (Ex)Change in the Indian Ocean

Posted by: Amelia Raines

Take a look at this monsoon chart, paying special attention to the western Indian Ocean between the east coast of Africa and the west coast of India, and you might notice a pattern: The left chart depicts the prevailing winds in the Indian Ocean in February; the right, in August. In winter, a sea of …