the Earth has been a practice of many civilizations. The earliest
pieces of cartographic history indicate that the Phoenecians were
recording their travels and trade routes extensively over two
thousand years ago.
first organized and systematic studies of Cartography were accomplished
by Claudius Ptolemy (pronounced 'tawlemy') in the Second century
A.D. Ptolemy was an Alexandrian astronomer who compiled his findings
about the nature of our Earth and the heavens above into his greatest
work, Geographia. Much of the work Ptolemy completed came
well before the rest of civilization could appreciate it. During
Ptolemy's time and the centuries ahead, worldly travel was dangerous
and comlicated. Advancements in science had not yet produced the
tools to help travelers safely navigate their way over long distances.
The perception of the size of the Earth was innacurate as well,
as many maps of the time incorporate a world view encompassing
only the middle east or regions of Europe.
Byzantine Monk named Maximos Planudes rediscovered a manuscript
of Ptolemy's Geographia sometime between 1260 and 1310.
The maps of Geographia were incomplete and many were missing.
Maximos Planudes drew many of the maps from descriptions in the
text. These works all were collected in the libraries of Byzantium,
and during the fall of Byzantium in 1453, Geographia and
the works of Maximos Planudes fell into the ownership of the Turkish
Sultan Mahammed II. At the time, the works lacked a world map,
so the Sultan commissioned Georgios Amirutzes, a philosopher,
to draw up a world map based on Ptolemy's text. The Sultan understood
that the map would be out of date, but that is precisely what
he wanted an ancient map. To perpetuate this map he had
the final work woven as a carpet from the drawing.
Mohammed II could possibly be the world's first map collector.
Collectors are the individuals who have kept the history of Cartography
compiled and existing for thousands of years.
Art of Cartography is an exploration of mapmaking and Cartographic
study in the most intriguing years of its development: The Post
Rennaisance ages of Exploration and Discovery. During the 15th
and 16th centuries, amazing achiuevements were made in science
and technology. The first recorded journeys around the globe were
happening, and for the first time, humans began to understand
the scale of the Earth and its position in the universe.
this collective work as a guided tour into the accomplishments
of the 15th and 16th centuries. Explore at your own pace, from
beginning to end, or in sections individually. The major sections
explore the maps themselves, an interactive exploration of the
tools of mapmakers, and biographies of the Artists and Scientists
of the time.