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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
Atlas Maritimus, or a Book of Charts - A large description of the two chanells in the river Dwina goeing up to the citty of Archangel (1672)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 2 - Tvnetis Vrbis 1574 (1575)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Descriptio Germaniae Inferioris (1570)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Waldeck (1595)
Vallard Atlas - Adriatic Sea (1547)
The Illustrated Atlas - Western Africa (1851)
Le Costume Ancien et Moderne [Asie] Vol. 1 - Carte Generale de l'Asie (1815)
Huntington's School Atlas - North America (1836)
The Illustrated Atlas - Germany (1851)
The Theatre of the Empire of Great-Britain - A Newe Mape of Y XVII Provinces of Low Germanie (1676)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 3 - Saltzburgr (1581)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. Du Var (1856)
Life in Asiatic Turkey - Map of Asia Minor Shewing the District Visited by Revd E. J. Davis (1879)
The Illustrated Atlas - Preston (1851)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Pictavia Vulgo Poictiers 1561 La Poictiers et Prospectus Montis Henrici (1596)
The Atlantic Telegraph - Chart, Showing the Track of the Steam-Ship Great Eastern on Her Voyage from Valentia to Newfoundland (1865)
A Tour Through Sicily - Sicily Reduced from a Map Published by Authority at Naples in the Year 1810 (1819)
The Illustrated Atlas - Cork (1851)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 1 - Granada 1563 (1572)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Map of the Uinkaret Plateau [North Half] (1882)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Poictov (1595)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 2 - Cliviam Dvisbvrgvm Embrica and Gennapivm (1575)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Malabar (1690)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 3 - Soest Warborch (1581)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - Channel Islands Scilly Islands and Isle of Man (1872)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 4 - Topographia Insulae Huenae In Celebri Prothmo Regni Daniae 1586 (1588)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Taurica (1595)
Atlas de Historia fisica y Politica de Chile Vol. 1 - Isla de Juan Fernandes (1854)
Cuzco: a Journey to the Ancient Capital of Peru - A Map of Peru (1856)
Miller Atlas - Central Atlantic Ocean with the Azores (1519)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 4 - Bergen (1588)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Hall In Sachsen et Hildsheim (1596)
Magalhaes-Strasse und Austral-Continent - Westliche Hemisphaere nach der Weltkarte des Lionardo da Vinci (1881)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Iaverinvm Vulgo Rab 1594 (1596)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Hailbrvnna Mvlhvsivm et Revtlinga (1617)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - Russia in Europe (1872)
Cosmographie Universelle - Partie des canibales (1555)
Six Months in Ascension - Island of Ascension (1878)
The Illustrated Atlas - England and Wales (1851)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - Dutch Possessions in South America and the West Indies (1872)
The Illustrated Atlas - Austria (1851)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Czaslavivm Vulgo Czasla Bohemiae Civitas et Commoda Vulgo Comethav (1617)
The Illustrated Atlas - Belfast (1851)
Vallard Atlas - Southeastern South America, Straits of Magellan (1547)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Conimbriae In Lusitania (1596)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Petrina (1617)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Strigonivm Gran 1595 (1596)
Atlas Maritimus, or a Book of Charts - A chart of the South-sea (1672)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Orixa [II] (1690)
Voyage en Perse Vol. 2 - Carte de la Perse Pour le Voyage du Colonel G Dourville 1819 (1825)
Journal of a Residence in Colombia Vol. 2 - A Map of Colombia (1825)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Daniae Regni Typus (1570)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Antverpia (1596)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. Du Morbihan (1856)
The Story of Atlantis - Map No. 4 (1896)
The Theatre of the Empire of Great-Britain - Midlesex (1676)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - British Possessions on the North East Coast of South America (1872)
Picturesque Views on the River Niger - A Part of the River Niger & Chadda, Surveyed in 1832-3 (1840)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map of the Southern Part of the Kaibab Plateau. [Part I. North-Western Sheet] (1882)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Amstelodamvm (1617)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Nissa Silesior et Ligincivm (1617)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Colding Schloss Vnd Stat (1596)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Bisnagar [II] (1690)
Canadian Scenery Illustrated: Volume 1 - Map of Canada (1865)
Cosmographie Universelle - Terre australe [I] (1555)
The Theatre of the Empire of Great-Britain - Breknoke (1676)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Abbruzzo (1595)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Cambodia, China, Siompa (1690)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Staden (1596)
Taboas Geraes de Toda a Navegação - Holland (1630)
Mitchell's New General Atlas - Plan of Baltimore (1861)
Atlas National Illustre - Oceanie (1856)
North American Indians Vol. 2 - United States Indian Frontier in 1840 (1926)
The Land of Israel - Routes in the Holy Land by the Rev'd H. B. Tristram (1865)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Novara (1617)
The Illustrated Atlas - Belgium (1851)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - United States - South Central Section (1872)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. Du Calvados (1856)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Palatinatus Bavariae Descriptio et Wirtenbergensis Duvatus Vera Descriptio (1570)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Bengall, Bay of Bengall (1690)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 1 - Amstelredamvm (1572)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - East Coast of South America (1872)
South America, Painted and Described - Sketch Map of South America (1912)
A Journey through Albania, and other Provinces of Turkey - Map of the Western Half of the Hellespontine Phrygia (1813)
The Illustrated Atlas - Ireland (1851)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Hungaria (1595)
The Illustrated Atlas - Spain and Portugal (1851)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Lovicensis Civitas (1617)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Carta Agricola (1885)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Alsatia superior (1595)
The Gate of the Pacific - Map Shewing Lines of Communication via New Transmit Route Through Central America (1863)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 3 - Enchuysen (1581)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Dillenbvrg et Segen (1617)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Busseen, Vingerle, Malabar, Rojapore (1690)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - Ports and Harbours on the South East Coast of England (1872)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Bombahem Island, Island of Saltset, Coronia (1690)
The Illustrated Atlas - Prussia (1851)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Sevilla 1593 (1596)
Head-Hunters of Borneo - South East Borneo (1882)
Taboas Geraes de Toda a Navegação - Plans of Ports, Islands, and Cities on the Coast of Africa and India (1630)

References:

1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 17. pg. 633