Questions tagged [maps]

For questions relating to maps, incl. specific maps, how these were made, and their purpose.

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44
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4answers
5k views

What is the logic for the map maker classifying the map this way, specifically in Canada?

I recently came across the map displayed above. It is a map showing the spread of totalitarian and authoritarian governments right before WWII. The countries that are black are totalitarian ...
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When the Portuguese began the exploration of the West African Coast, did they believe the Indian Ocean was an enclosed sea?

The Ptolemy map shows the Indian Ocean as an enclosed sea separated from the Atlantic by land extending from Africa to Malaya. Therefore, it suggests it is impossible to reach the Indian Ocean from ...
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6answers
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What are good online sources for historical maps?

I am looking for good online sources for historical maps, specifically the late medieval period (but other periods would be interesting as well). While there are many historical maps out there, few ...
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How was the modern geographic boundary between Europe and Asia decided?

Wikipedia puts the boundary as: The modern definition of Europe delimits it from Asia at the Aegean Sea, the Dardanelles-Sea of Marmora-Bosporus, the Black Sea, along the watershed of the Greater ...
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Is There A Term For The Old Maps That Had Lines Connecting Pin-Wheels?

Many old maps have lines like below. Is there a term for a map with that type of lines? (from http://r-russell0912-dc2.blogspot.com/2011/01/pirate-maps-and-old-maps.html) My best hypothesis is that ...
15
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Was the location of the 180° line of longitude coincidence or deliberately chosen?

This question on Politics.SE asks about the alignment of maps, and got two answers. The first (mine) says the split through the Bering Strait was chosen for practical reasons, the second says that it'...
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What are those X in top of the flag?

Well, I was wondering. What are those crosses in the top of the flag when we visualize military battleplans? For instance, take a look in a map of the Battle for El Alamein: The Free French ...
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Context for this 1871 humorous map of Europe?

The following map is from (circa) 1871, according to this source, and it was published in Bologna, Italy. Could you please provide some context for it? Parts of the map are self evident, as for ...
14
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1answer
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What are the historical reasons for the conventional map orientation?

North is traditionally shown upwards in maps, although there isn't any physical reason for it - compass needles point parallel to magnetic field lines. Showing south as up would be just as legitimate. ...
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Which period is this game map supposed to represent? [closed]

I have gotten my hands on a handmade Diplomacy variant, however for the life of me I can't figure out which period it is supposed to represent. Of course the author had to take liberties when ...
13
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What is a “Schwedenschanze” on an 1830's map of Eastern Bavaria?

The modern translation by BING is Swedish ski jump or Swedish hill, depending on whether or not I insert a space, but this seems very unlikely in that time period. The structure is clearly man-made, ...
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What is the earliest mention of an estimate of 71% water (or 70.8%) / 29% land (or 29.2%)?

According to the U.S. Geological Survey's article How much water is there on, in, and above the Earth?, About 71 percent of the Earth's surface is water-covered Wikipedia's Earth article also ...
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1answer
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Why do some 17th and 18th century maps depict Ottoman sanjaks north of the Danube in Wallachia?

Note: I am editing this question constantly, because after posting it I have realized that there are more maps involving the same description, beside Homann's of 1720. (That doesn't mean that they are ...
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What was the first map of Antarctica having a shape based on real evidence?

Antarctica was the last continent to be discovered, and the first confirmed landfall was on January 24, 1895. However, most discussions of "early" world maps seem to peter out well before that, such ...
11
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840 views

Has Mohenjo-daro been reconstructed?

What is the extent of current knowledge on the physical structure of the city of Mohenjo Daro? Have all possible roads and buildings (possibly in 3D) been reconstructed? Do we completely know the ...
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Can anyone explain why the Scottish flag on this map from 1504 has a red cross on a white background?

The section of the map below is from a nautical chart by the Portuguese cartographer Pedro Reinel (c.1462 – c.1542). On it, Scotland is shown with a red St. Andrew's Cross on a white background. Upon ...
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What was the most accurate map of the world before artificial satellites?

How accurate were the maps before the invention of artificial satellites? What was the most accurate map of the Earth before satellites?
9
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1answer
218 views

How old is Philippe Buache's map of New Discoveries?

(See 6MB high-resolution version.) The University of Hawai'i at Manoa owns a copy of this map of the Pacific by Phillippe Buache. Its library record gives the date "Circa 1750"; I wonder if we can be ...
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Do maps dating back to 1489/90 show Ascension and St Helena even though these islands were supposedly only discovered in 1501 and 1502 respectively?

The 1504 Vesconte Maggiolo Map appears to be the first map to name and accurately locate the islands of St Helena and Ascension as single isloated islands. Ascension was shown in a similar location ...
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How to build historical maps?

Is there an online tool that allows one to create a historical map given a time period and region/country of interest? I have found this question, What are good online sources for historical maps?, ...
8
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1answer
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What is the origin of these WW1 “official history” maps?

I'm looking for a source, preferably the original atlas or set of documents in facsimile, for the following WW1 maps (and their siblings): I've only found these fragments, reproduced on the Web and ...
8
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1answer
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What are these items in this 16th century plan of an English town?

This plan or picture map of Great Yarmouth is from the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). According to the Norfolk Record Office (pdf), It shows the town’s defences at the time of the Spanish Armada ...
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When did inadequate or inaccurate maps produce important historical consequences?

For example, Christopher Columbus' sense of place in the New World was perhaps shaped by a c. 1491 map made by Henricus Martellus: (From: Did This Map Guide Columbus?) I'm interested in more ...
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How did 2nd century Romans decide where to build Hadrian's wall?

How did 2nd century Romans decide where to build Hadrian's wall? It is located exactly at the narrowest east-west section of the island. They had no laser theodolites, lenses, aerial observation ...
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Where can I find open historical map data?

I am building an interactive map project, that should draw a political map for any given year. Are there any open resources, that give access to such information? Maybe, as an array of points marking ...
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Do any Byzantine maps survive?

Are there any maps still surviving that were made in the Byzantine Empire? There are plenty of maps from Western Europe during this time period, but I haven't heard of any surviving from the eastern ...
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1answer
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How were ethnographic maps in the 19th century made?

Ethnographic maps are visual representations of the ethnic make up of particular regions. Usually multicultural regions which are controlled by an empire. Here are some examples of ethnographic maps:...
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1answer
501 views

When would the Japanese have been able to recognize their archipelago?

After watching Bill Wurtz's History of Japan video, it got me wondering. At 4:38, it brings up the Dutch bringing geography to Japan (obviously, this is a humorous video, so I'm sure this is ...
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At what point did mapmaking begin to accurately reflect what we now know about the earth?

Looking at maps through the ages, it is apparent that maps have become closer and closer to representing the locations and shapes of the Earth's features with increasing accuracy over the centuries. ...
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Information about the Kingdom of Raja Dahir of Sindh?

I am trying to find some information about the Kingdom of Raja Dahir of Sindh. For example, how much area did his empire constitute and where was it generally located? If anyone could also provide a ...
6
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1answer
251 views

Are there any surviving maps from the Delhi Sultanate?

Are there any surviving maps of the Delhi Sultanate that were made in India during that era? I'm having a very hard time finding any maps surviving from that period of Indian history that actually ...
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1answer
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Have map projections and distortions ever affected treaties?

Has there ever been a case of an unfair treaty occur anytime through history due to use of biased map projections, either accidentally or deliberately?
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Relatively modern phantom islands or similar entities

(Not sure whether to ask it here or at Travel.SE; feel free to migrate my question if others think differently) I recently came across the concept of Phantom island. I guess there aren't any phantom ...
5
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1answer
341 views

Where can I find maps and other historical resources / references of Calcutta / Kolkata in the Victorian era?

I am doing some historical research on a project and need some maps, references on Calcutta in the Victorian Era, somewhere between the 1850's and 60's. Does anyone know some good sites / books where ...
5
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2answers
264 views

Where can I find more information about former German internal enclaves and exclaves?

This question is related to the question I asked previously: Why was the shape of German states pre-WWII (especially Prussia) so complicated? Most maps of pre-WWII are not detailed enough to see an ...
5
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1answer
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Where to get historical Finland railways map for 1939 year?

Where to get Finland railways map for 1939 year ? Just want to compare logistics possibilities during Winter War. It is map of USSR: http://soldat.ru/files/f/00000583.jpg
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When did the Portuguese decide to extend their West African exploration to finding a sea passage to India?

In 1421, when the Portuguese began the southwards exploration of the West African coast under Prince Henry the Navigator, their primary aim (there were several) was to find the source of wealthy goods ...
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1answer
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Is there a population density map of pre-Columbian South America?

I have found such maps for North America, e.g. this one: But never for the southern continent. The goal is a broad overview. How many Lokono were there, compared to the Mapuche (and the Cree for that ...
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2answers
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Where can I find a world map from the Victorian period?

I'm looking for a (preferably open-source) decently quality political map of the world from around 1890 (1885-1900 would be usable for what I want). I don't have a lot of experience looking for maps ...
4
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2answers
237 views

Who was the first Renaissance cartographer to include rich content in their maps that went beyond spatial points, borders, and location names?

In other words, which Renaissance cartographer was the first to really enrich their maps with imagery or icons that indicated other attributes about the locations they were mapping, or the people who ...
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1answer
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How much (area) territory did Chinese dynasties control?

I am looking for the area of the territories controlled by the different Chinese dynasties since Zhou all the way to the Qing. There are maps available of the different territories but I haven't found ...
4
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Where was Canterbury College (Oxford) located?

I hope this is on-topic. I am reading about former Oxford University colleges. For many their historic location in the city is well documented. I just came across one however which is unclear. It is ...
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1answer
331 views

Examples of ancient maps that gave names based on a cardinal direction

Years ago I read that civilizations had maps like that of the Herodotus, who was an ancient Greek historian. Said maps named lands or peoples according to cardinal directions, but without referring to ...
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What was the extent of Japanese control after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs and before surrender?

What was the extent of Japanese control after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I am talking about before their surrender. A map would be extremely preferred for better understanding.
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When was the use of detailed maps for military campaigns widely adopted?

I remember definitively, they were there during the Napoleonic wars. Napoleon himself was a part of one Bureau of Topography for a while. An auxiliary question, how did they ever get to survey lands ...
3
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1answer
458 views

Pre-WW2 location of Skalat

Was Skalat on the border between Poland and USSR before WW2? Is there a pre-WW2 map with Skalat? I am trying to confirm information from a 90-year old who reportedly crossed the former border between ...
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1answer
385 views

What is the earliest map of Washington, D.C.?

What is the earliest official map of Washington, D.C. and where can it be found in the digital form and highest possible resolution? Googling didn't yield a credible answer.
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1answer
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Naming of (strategic) hills on a map as numbers (example Hill 60)

I'm a native to the Ypres region. Here we still have hills retaining their names given during WW1: Hill 60, Hill 62, Hill 41,... I did some research on the naming of the hills. And during my research ...
2
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1answer
489 views

Did imperialist propaganda inflate map size?

I'm fairly certain I've seen this in the past and I highly doubt I'm making this up - I'm not sure whether it was of the British Empire or Japan's or maybe even some other nation - but I'm fairly ...
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1answer
405 views

What is the history of Cartography?

Today's maps rely on overhead surveillance. Wikipedia's history of Cartography lists some key technologies that improved cartography (e.g. telescopes, magnetic compasses, etc.), but doesn't explain ...