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 ...
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. ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
So, in researching the link from sbi, I think he's got one piece of the puzzle, but there seem to be a few more.
Juan de Fuca (the same guy from whom the straits around Vancouver Island / the Seattle area are named), had claimed to have found a Northwest Passage
Sailors from the south had also found the Gulf of Baja California, and frankly its big - so big ...
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.
"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 ...
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 ...
It's normally to do with the relative positions up- or down-river.
Upper Egypt is up-river on the River Nile, relative to Lower
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)
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'...
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 ...
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.
It seems to me the person whose work best describes what you are looking for would be Georg Braun.
From 1572 to 1617 he edited the Civitates orbis terrarum, which
contains 546 prospects, bird's-eye views and maps of cities from all
around the world
(above map or Zurich from same article)
Though Munster was actually an inspiration of Brauns, I ...
According to Wikipedia, this might be based on the romance novel Las sergas de Esplandián by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo, which contains the first written mentioning of the Island of California.
It is probable that this description prompted early explorers to misidentify the Baja California peninsula as the island in these legends.