27

What a wonderful question! Dom Henrique is one of the chief characters of this story, and that means we need to explore him more than the general Portuguese knowledge. These explorations as a whole were a manifestation of the soul of this great man who was well beyond his contemporaries in what he wanted and expected from his sailors. I'm basing this answer ...


21

See Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus / auctore Olao Magno ... Magnus, Olaus, 1490-1558 (click here for full Hathi Trust catalog entry for the 1562 edition) or here for Wikipedia's description. Your explanation is in Book 3, Chap 2, folio 30 verso, near the bottom of the page of the 1562 edition, and on page 98 of the nicer-looking fuller 1555 edition....


16

Typically it refers to a river, and "lower" is down-river (closer to the coast), while "upper" is up-river (further inland). This is because the land at the mouth of a river is lower (in altitude) than the land near its source. Basic physics here. This goes for most instances where you see an upper/lower distinction. For your examples, Egypt is based on ...


15

The convention was established by Ptolemy (AD 90 – c. AD 168) in his main work, Geography. The following is a 15th century reconstruction of Ptolemy's world map: It's an arbitrary decision, and several reversed maps exist. There are also maps that don't follow a standard orientation, some examples are T and O maps, polar maps, and Dymaxion/Fuller maps. ...


14

The first satellite image of Earth was taken in 1959. At that time, as far as I can tell, aerial photography and stereoplotters were used to produce topographic maps with accuracy that I imagine would have depended mostly on the quality of the aerial photographs, but probably down to a few meters. For larger maps depicting the Earth, I think the answer ...


14

Realistically speaking a reasonably knowledgeable Japanese person would've been able to spot Japan on a world map, based on the islands' relative position to Korea and China. This is probably true since at least the 400s. They were, after all, able to engage in extensive trade and diplomacy with the mainland. Their grasp of geography couldn't be that far off ...


12

General answer: it will probably depend what you define as "the shape". Ultimately, once landfall was made on opposite coasts (1820-1840), and land was proven to be there, it was a matter of looking at all the places a ship had sailed through without hitting anything, concluding that the coastline must be further south than that, and drawing in a dotted line ...


11

The maps were almost as accurate as they are after the launch of satellites. And this has little to do with air photography. And celestial navigation ("sextants" hinted in the previous message) was responsible only for mapping of remote islands. The main method of making accurate maps was geodesic survey. One begins with laying a base, that is measure ...


10

As far as I call tell, unless the spiritual electors wore their clerical vestaments, and they do not in those images, their elector's robes and those of the secular electors should have been the same color with only minor differences in the precise shade. I believe that the Golden Bull of 1356 specified the color of the elector's robes. The other princes ...


8

gktscrk answers the question directly but, although it is true that there were legends and fears, and simple minded sailors, it is absolutely false that the elite did not expect to find anything valuable beyond the Bojador, or that only India was a valuable objective. How significant was the Fall of Constantinople as an event leading to the Age of ...


8

For me, this is not a question of "where is a tool to do cartography for me" but rather "how do I build a map that shows what I want to show". The first is something that doesn't exist, at least in a way that it would be free for everyone and easy to use. The second is something that we can all develop through patience and learning. What to Observe in ...


8

I realise I am very late in answering this, but I cannot stress this enough: the best source by far for historical maps that I have ever found, is David Rumseys amazing online collections I would also like to point you in the direction of this book; Cartographies of Time though it might be more time-space related than what you are looking for.


7

"Upper" and "lower" refer to highlands and lowlands of a country, usually defined by one (or more) rivers. Upper Egypt refers to the plateaus/highlands next to Sudan and Ethiopia, near the sources of the Nile River. Lower Egypt refers to lower lands nearer the (Mediterranean) coast. Upper Austria refers to the Austrian Alps in the west. Lower Austria ...


6

No, there is no universal, online tool for making arbitrary historical maps. As comments showed, certain tools can offer some insight into matters of historical geography, but publications that need specific historical maps still usually have to commission them from a cartographer, who collects and renders that data for specific purposes. The classical ...


6

The map explicitly says: rubrum pannum pertica suspensum adorant (they adore a red cloth hanging from a pole) And this guy states that these vignettes come from Marco Polo (a good guess when seeing cute figures on late medieval maps...). He also gives full translations of all of them. https://www.helmink.com/detail/?Stock=18761&Label=ort-russia Here ...


6

Just because nothing survives of early cartographic works does not mean they did not exist. In History we often have to gather information from earlier historical writings, discussing earlier works yet. Gathering information on Geography, and recording this information, Cartography, predate Ptolemy by hundreds of years. Early Cartographers and Geographers ...


6

A very interesting question, as it turns out. The coast of Antarctica wasn't definitively sighted until about 1820, so no globe until then would have featured it. I found this pocket globe made by Abel Klinger in I believe 18801 that shows the barest outline of some of the coast of Antarctica. Examining some globes from the same manufacturer in 1855, I can'...


6

(Update) Recently I encountered some single edition maps, and one map and cartographer in particular that seems to better exemplify your question. The cartographer would be Olaus Magnus, and his map the Carta Marina, first published in 1539. (A higher resolution image here) The entire map is covered in 'rich content' and imagery concerning behaviors of the ...


5

It's normally to do with the relative positions up- or down-river. For example, Upper Egypt is up-river on the River Nile, relative to Lower Egypt Lower Austria derives its name from its downriver location on the Danube River, relative to Upper Austria. Moesia Superior (Upper Moesia) was up-river relative to Moesia Inferior (Lower Moesia)


5

There are a number of possibilities here, though none fully meet your criteria. Aside from the Mercator distortion mentioned by SJuan76 in his comment, you may be thinking of the McDonald Gill Highways of Empire map from 1927 which placed the British Isles in the centre of the frame and projected, in red, the overseas empire around them, in somewhat ...


5

I suppose no ancient Greek maps or their descriptions survive to answer this question. The earliest maps (and a mathematical theory of making them) that we know were made by Ptolemy, who was not exactly an "ancient Greek". He lived in the Roman empire in 2-nd century AD, contemporary of Trajan, and he wrote in Greek. Even his maps illustrating his famous ...


4

I think there are serious problems with this question. Yet, I've decided to draft an answer, though not as detailed as I did to the related question here. The real problem here lies in defining what is a "decision to go to India". My linked answer describes Portuguese knowledge of the Earth in the 15th century. Hence, it is likely that Dom Henrique ...


3

National Geographic is generally considered the premier map maker since the inception of the society over a hundred years ago. The National Geographic 1970 World Map probably answers your question of "What was the most accurate map of the Earth before satellites?" Note that the premise of your question may be off kilter. In most cases it is not the accuracy ...


3

Detailed Topographical Maps of Bavaria, including complete coverage at 1:50,000 scale during or near the Napoleonic Wars, are available here.


3

There is no much difference between reproducing maps and other pictures. Since the end of 19th century maps (and other pictures) were photo-reproduced. Before that time they were engraved. The originals were drawn by hand.


2

The ODP has an entry for historical maps. (The ODP is a directory/catalogue for websites)


2

Look into Alexandre Magnus, thanks to Aristotle, cartographers, botanists, zoologists, geologists etc. accompanied the King and his Army as they conquered the world! However, from Macedon to the Hellespont, details were required! Don't know how much time you have, so thought this lead might be useful. I'll add specifics & sources pre and Post-Alexandre (...


2

gktsck answer shows that the general intent to reach India was already there. But to understand how the general intent become a tangible aim, note that the path to India did not go through today's Ivory Coast, Nigeria, or Fernando Po. It went though Brazil, due to the direction of maritime currents. What you have to look for is "When the Southern ...


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