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Many old maps have lines like below. Is there a term for a map with that type of lines? enter image description here enter image description here (from http://r-russell0912-dc2.blogspot.com/2011/01/pirate-maps-and-old-maps.html)

My best hypothesis is that the lines may be related to Rhumb lines and therefore Mercator projections.

Beautiful Example.

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I think this is an example of a question that can correctly exist on 2 different SE sites--you might consider posting this question on gis.stackexchange.com with a cartography and history tag. There are lots of good cartographers there. –  Jay Aug 13 '12 at 9:56
    
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The first thing I can think of is Portolan charts, the Wikipedia page is not very clear but it links here which has some more information. (full frameset for the second link)

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+1. I think it would make this answer more valuable though if you'd quote their paragraph on what the lines were for. That was the main thrust of the question. –  T.E.D. Aug 13 '12 at 13:55
    
@T.E.D. That paragraph essentially says, "yep, they're Rhumb lines for each of the primary, half-, and quarter-winds in Mercator projections", confirming JoeHobbit's suspicions. –  SevenSidedDie Aug 13 '12 at 17:27
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