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Maps

With very few exceptions maps were first printed in the second half of the 15th century. Those in the Rudimentum novitiarum published at Lubeck in 1475 are from woodcuts, while the maps in the first two editions of Ptolemy published in Italy in 1472 are from copper plates. Wood engraving kept its ground for a considerable period, especially in Germany, but copper in the end supplanted it, and owing to the beauty and clearness of the maps produced.

Other types of old maps include portolan charts which were mostly made by the Portuguese, Spanish and French and used as practical navigation charts.

A capacity to understand the nature of maps is possessed even by peoples whom we are in the habit of describing as "savages." Wandering tribes naturally enjoy a great advantage in this respect over sedentary ones. Our arctic voyagers—Sir E. W. Parry, Sir J. Ross, Sir F. L. MacClintock and others—have profited from rough maps drawn for them by Eskimos.

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Specimens of such maps are given in C. F. Hall's Life with the Esquimaux (London, 1864). Henry Youle Hind, in his work on the Labrador Peninsula (London, 1863) praises the map which the Montagnais and Nasquapee Indians drew upon bark. Similar essays at map-making are reported in connexion with Australians, Maoris and Polynesians. Tupaya, a Tahitian, who accompanied Captain Cook in the "Endeavour" to Europe, supplied his patron with maps; Raraka drew a map in chalk of the Paumotu archipelago on the deck of Captain Wilkes's vessel; the Marshall islanders, according to Captain Winkler (Marine Rundschau, Oct. 1893) possess maps upon which the bearings of the islands are indicated by small strokes.

Far superior were the maps found among the semi-civilized Mexicans when the Spaniards first discovered and invaded their country. Among them were cadastral plans of villages, maps of the provinces of the empire of the Aztecs, of towns and of the coast. Montezuma presented Cortes with a map, painted on Nequen cloth, of the Gulf coast. Another map did the Conquistador good service on his campaign against Honduras (Lorenzana, Historia de nueva España, Mexico, 1770; W. H. Prescott, History of the Conquest of Mexico, New York, 1843).

Peru, the empire of the Incas, had not only ordinary maps, but also maps in relief, for Pedro Sarmiento da Gamboa (History of the Incas, translated by A. R. Markham, 1907) tells us that the 9th Inca (who died in 1191) ordered such reliefs to be produced of certain localities in a district which he had recently conquered and intended to colonize. These were the first relief maps on record. It is possible that these primitive efforts of American Indians might have been further developed, but the Spanish conquest put a stop to all progress, and for a consecutive history of the map and map-making we must turn to the Old World, and trace this history from Egypt and Babylon, through Greece, to our own age.

Our comprehensive collection of maps is now available below:

Image Name
The Theatre of the Empire of Great-Britain - The Kingdome of Persia (1676)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 2 - Bilvao (1575)
The Illustrated Atlas - South America (1851)
Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea - Route of the Expedition from Isle a la Cross to Fort Providence (1823)
Mitchell's New General Atlas - [I] Map of Chili [II] Map of Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay (1861)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. De La Dordeogne (1856)
Vallard Atlas - Terra Java (1547)
The Illustrated Atlas - Clifton and Bristol (1851)
An Historical Account of the Colony of New South Wales - Plan of Port Macquarie, Including a Sketch of Part of Hastings River on the East Coast of New South Wales (1821)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Corsica, Sardinia (1595)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. De L'Herault (1856)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Westfalia [II] (1595)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 3 - Konigsbbergt et Riga (1581)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 1 - Colonia Agrippina (1572)
Stanley's Story - Map of Equatorial Africa (1890)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 4 - Ostia (1588)
The Illustrated Atlas - Western Africa (1851)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Saintes 1560 (1596)
Atlas Maritimus, or a Book of Charts - A chart of the Narrow seas (1672)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Lombardia [I] (1595)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Britannia, Normandia (1595)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. De La Siene (1856)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 1 - Avguvsta Ivxta Figvram Qvam Hisce Temporibvs Habet Delineata (1572)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Malabar (1690)
Account of a Voyage of discovery to the West Coast of Corea - Port Melville (1818)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Palatinatus Rheni (1595)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Prospectuvs Freti Sicvli Vulgo Il Faro Di Messina 1617 (1617)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Portrait Sainct Germain En Laye Portrait Fontaine Belleav (1617)
The Illustrated Atlas - Turkey in Europe (1851)
Norway in 1848 and 1849 - Sketch Map of South Norway (1850)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Celimham Berncastel Over Manderscheidt Nider Mandersheidt (1596)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Puglia Piana (1595)
An Historical Atlas - A.D. 337. At The Death Of Constantine. (1830)
Mitchell's New General Atlas - Minnesota and Dacotah (1861)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - British North America Sheet I - East (1872)
Our Journey Around the World - Map of the World Showing Francis E. Clarks' Journey (1894)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Isle Coronia, India (1690)
Wild Life on the Fjelds of Norway - Map of the Gjendin Lake and Surrounding Mountains (1861)
History of the Burgh of Dumfries - Map of Dumfries and Maxwelltown (1873)
Atlas National Illustre - Mappemonde (1856)
Views of the Adirondack Mountain Region - Map of the Tertiary of Essex Co. (1838)
Album del Ferro-Carril Mexicano - Plano Orografico de la Zona Recorrida por el Ferro-Carril Mexicano de Veracruz a Mexico (1877)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Abbruzzo (1595)
Visits to High Tartary, Yarkand, and Kashgar - Sketch Map of the Country North of India (1871)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. De L'Allier (1856)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 4 - Iervsalem Bottom (1588)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 3 - Dovay (1581)
History of the Recent Discoveries at Cyrene - Cyrenaica Corrected from the Surveys of Capt's Smyth, Beechy and Spratt (1864)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Borneo, Paragoa, Isle of Mindoro (1690)
The Holy Land : Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt & Nubia Vols. 5 & 6 - Map of the Valley of the Nile (1855)
Deutsche Forscher im Sudpolarmeer - Neu-Schwabenland, Deutsche Antarktische Expedition 1938-1939 (1941)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 4 - Chios (1588)
The Theatre of the Empire of Great-Britain - A Newe Mape of Germany (1676)
The Theatre of the Empire of Great-Britain - Hartfordshire (1676)
The Illustrated Atlas - Malay Archipelago, or East India Islands (1851)
The Theatre of the Empire of Great-Britain - Penbrokshyre (1676)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 2 - Constantia Vulgo Costnitz S. Galli Opp (1575)
Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine [Atlas-Vol. 2] - Carte Itineraire No. 10 (1873)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 1 - Calaris Malta Rhodvs et Famavgvsta (1572)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Livonia (1595)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Tartariae Sive Magni Chami Regni (1570)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 1 - Monacvm Ingolstadivm Frisingensis Nordlinga Ratispona Stravbinga (1572)
An Historical Atlas - A.D. 1828. End Of The General Peace. (1830)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Lipsiae Insignnis Saxoniae Urbis 1617 (1617)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 3 - Chartres et Chateavdvnvm Vulgo Dunoys (1581)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Campagna di Roma (1595)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - Oceania or Islands in the Pacific Ocean (1872)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. De La Sarthe (1856)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 2 - Rochella Mvnitissimvm Galliae Opp (1575)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 3 - Brightstowe (1581)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. De La Hte. Vienne (1856)
The Illustrated Atlas - Bath (1851)
The Illustrated Atlas - Polynesia, or Islands in the Pacific Ocean (1851)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Siompa, Borneo (1690)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 1 - Tshertogenbosch Loeven Machelen (1572)
The Gate of the Pacific - Map Shewing Lines of Communication via New Transmit Route Through Central America (1863)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Lombardia [III] (1595)
Observations on the Neilgherries - Map of the Neelgiries and the Different Approaches to Them [1834] (1834)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Waldeck (1595)
Atlas Maritimus, or a Book of Charts - The Windward passage from Jamaica, betwene the east end of Cuba, and the west end of Hispaniola (1672)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. Du Nord (1856)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Palacios Alcanerilla Et Cabecas 1565 (1596)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geological Map of the Western Part of Plateau Province (1882)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Bardvm Pomeraniae (1596)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. Du Var (1856)
Ttahuantin-Suyu or the Empire of the Yncas - Ttahuantin-Suyu or the Empire of the Yncas (1880)
American Scenery Vol. II - The North-Eastern Part of the United States (1840)
The Illustrated Atlas - Bradford, Yorkshire (1851)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. Du Pas De Calais (1856)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 1 - Traejectvm (1572)
A Voyage of Discovery - Coastal Views [I] (1819)
Voyage Pittoresque et Historique au Bresil Vol. 2 - Plan de la Baie de Rio Janeiro (1835)
A Wonderland of the East - Map of Vermont and New Hampshire (1920)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. Du Gard (1856)
Miller Atlas - Circular World Map of the Portuguese Hemisphere (1519)
The Doldenhorn and Weisse Frau - Map of the Blumlisalp and Doldenhorn Group (1863)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Toninga Eiderstadiae et Hvsvm (1596)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Papa Inferioris Hungariae Oppidvm (1617)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. De La Lozere (1856)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Turcici Imperii Descriptio (1570)

References:

1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 17. pg. 633