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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
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map Showing the Kanab, Paria and Marble Canon Platforms (1882)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 4 - Wesalia (1588)
Journal of the Proceedings of the Late Embassy to China - Map of the Route of the British Embassy (II) (1817)
Mitchell's New General Atlas - Map of Africa Showing It's Most Recent Discoveries (1861)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - British North America Sheet III - Pacific Coast (1872)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Wiflispurgergow (1595)
Arctic Tides - Cotidal Lines for the Arctic Regions (1911)
The Ruins of Gour - Topographical Map of Gour (1817)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. Du Rhone (1856)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 4 - Helsheborch Lvnden Elbogen et Landeskron (1588)
Journal of the Progress of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales - Map of the Route of H.R.H., the Prince of Wales through British North America (1860)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Isle Coronia, India (1690)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 4 - Flensbvrgvm et Itzohoa (1588)
A Diary of the Wreck of His Majesty's Ship Challenger - Molguilla Beach Showing the Wreck of the H.M.S. Challenger (1836)
Cosmographie Universelle - Premiere Projection (1555)
Atlas Pintoresco e Historico De Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos - Mexico y Sus Cercanias (1885)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 3 - Leevwaerden et Franicker (1581)
The Illustrated Atlas - Glasgow (1851)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 4 - Nevs (1588)
Atlas de Historia fisica y Politica de Chile Vol. 1 - Plano de la Bahia de Valparaiso (1854)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. Des Vosges (1856)
Journal of a Tour in the Levant Vol. 3 - Map of the Countries on the East Coast of the Mediterranean Sea (1820)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. De La Meuse (1856)
Voyage Pittoresque et Archeologique dans la Province d'Yucatan - Carte de la Province de Yucatan (1838)
Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America - Outline Map of Central America (1844)
Palestine Illustrated - Modern Palestine (1888)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Magadoxa, Melinde, Mombaza, Quiloa (1690)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Saltset Island, Bombay Island, Coronia (1690)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Castanowiz Civitiae Propugnaculum (1617)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Austriae (1570)
The Illustrated Atlas - Cork (1851)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 2 - Mantva 1575 (1575)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 3 - Charlemont Landrechies Avesnes et Beavmont (1581)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. De La Hte. Marne (1856)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 2 - Harlemvm (1575)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 4 - Sclesvicvm 1584 (1588)
The Theatre of the Empire of Great-Britain - Denbighshore (1676)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 4 - Chios (1588)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Hungariae Descriptio Wolfgang Lazio Auct. (1570)
The Theatre of the Empire of Great-Britain - The Province of Connaugh (1676)
Highlands and Islands of the Adriatic - Outlines of the Coast of the Adriatic from Istria to Albania (1849)
The Illustrated Atlas - Ancient Palestine (1851)
The Theatre of the Empire of Great-Britain - Glocestershire (1676)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - Switzerland (1872)
The Story of Atlantis - Map No. 3 (1896)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Brema (1596)
The Theatre of the Empire of Great-Britain - The Province of Mounster (1676)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Dotis (1617)
Account of a Voyage of discovery to the West Coast of Corea - Napakiang Roads (1818)
The Theatre of the Empire of Great-Britain - Penbrokshyre (1676)
The Story of Our Planet - Map Showing the Contours of the Pacific Ocean (1898)
The Voyages of Pedro Fernandez de Quiros Vol. 2 - Routes of Mendana 1595, Quiros 1606 and Torres 1606 (1904)
The Illustrated Atlas - Austria (1851)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 6 - Galwaye Dvbline Lymericke et Corcke (1617)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 4 - Brixia Tyrolis et Lavingen (1588)
Cosmographie Universelle - Mediterranee orientale et Moyen-Orient (1555)
Mitchell's New General Atlas - Map of the United States and Territories (1861)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 3 - Lille Insvla (1581)
New Zealand : Its Physical Geography, Geology, and Natural History - New Zealand (1867)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 1 - Anverpia 1567 (1572)
Cosmographie Universelle - Sixieme Projection (1555)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 2 - Orleans and Bovrges (1575)
Atlas de Historia fisica y Politica de Chile Vol. 1 - Plano De Santiago (1854)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Islands [I] (1690)
Australia Vol. 1 - General Map of Australia (1873)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Sumatra, Banca [I] (1690)
Cosmographie Universelle - Europe meridionale et Afrique du nord-ouest [II] (1555)
Atlas Maritimus, or a Book of Charts - A chart of the Brittish chanel (1672)
The Illustrated Atlas - Northern India including the Presidency of Calcutta (1851)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. De L'Herault (1856)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Noua Bracarae Auguste Descriptio 1594 (1596)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Thuringia (1595)
Six Months Residence and Travels in Mexico - A Plan of the City of Mexico by Lt. Col. Don Diego Garcia - AD 1793 (1824)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Anglia [II] (1595)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Europa (1595)
The Illustrated Atlas - Modern Palestine (1851)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - South Africa (1872)
A Svmmarie and Trve Discovrse of Sir Frances Drakes West Indian Voyage - Bird's Eye Battle Plan View of Santiago (1589)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - Turkish Empire (1872)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Antverpia (1596)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Rojapore (1690)
From Everglade to Canon with the Second Dragoons - Battlefields, Marches and Principal Stations of the Second Regiment of Cavalry (1875)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Moravia (1595)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 3 - Velitrae Vvlgo Blitri (1581)
The Theatre of the Empire of Great-Britain - Leicester (1676)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 5 - Gallipolis (1596)
Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine [Atlas-Vol. 2] - Carte Itineraire No. 9 (1873)
Atlas de Historia fisica y Politica de Chile Vol. 1 - Provincias de Santiago y de Valparaiso (1854)
The Illustrated Atlas - Arabia (1851)
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)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Russia (1595)
A Description of the Sea Coasts in the East Indies - Part of the Coast of Malabar, Ceiloan (1690)
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Vtriusque (1570)
A Voyage of Discovery - Track of H.M. Ships Isabella and Alexander (1819)
Civitates Orbis Terrarum Vol. 3 - Edenbvrg (1581)
A Voyage of Discovery - A General Chart Shewing the Track and Discoveries of H.M. Ships Isabella and Fury (1819)
The Illustrated Atlas - Chili and La Plata (1851)
Atlas sive Cosmographicae - Lotharingia [I] (1595)
The Royal Illustrated Atlas - Ports and Harbours on the South West Coast of England (1872)
Atlas National Illustre - Dept. Du Tarn (1856)

References:

1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 17. pg. 633