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Evolution of the World Map. A – Antiquity B – Middle Ages C – Age of Discovery D – Modern Era. Antiquity. Herodotus (circa 450 BC) Inspired by Pythagoras (530 BC) and his geometry. Father of geography. Basic physical and human geography. Exploration and travel instead of geometry.

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evolution of the world map

Evolution of the World Map

A – Antiquity

B – Middle Ages

C – Age of Discovery

D – Modern Era

antiquity
Antiquity
  • Herodotus (circa 450 BC)
    • Inspired by Pythagoras (530 BC) and his geometry.
    • Father of geography.
    • Basic physical and human geography.
    • Exploration and travel instead of geometry.
    • Coined the terms Europe, Asia and Africa (Libya).

Accuracy

Trade route

Distance

Familiar

Accounts

Legends

“Terra incognita”

antiquity1
Antiquity
  • Aristotle (circa 350 BC)
    • Considered physical elements such as the temperature and winds as factors of the human habitat.
    • Division of the world in 3 climatic zones.
    • Relationships between the environment (temperature) and human habitat.
    • One of the first physical geographer.
    • Judged impossible to cross to torrid equatorial zone and reach the antipodes.

Frigid

Temperate

Torrid

antiquity2
Antiquity
  • Eratosthenes (circa 250 BC)
    • Formally assumed the earth was round.
    • Calculated the circumference of the earth.
    • 40,572 km versus the exact figure of 40,091 km.
    • Developed the concepts of parallel and meridian.
    • Consequently introduced the concept of geographical location.
    • Created modern cartography (cartographic plane).
antiquity3
Antiquity
  • Ptolemy (circa 150 AD)
    • Refined the coordinate system.
    • Inventory of population and resources.
    • Describing the world.
    • 8,000 entries.
    • Relationships between the physical and human elements.
    • Created map projections.
    • His map would remain the most accurate until the age of discovery.
middle ages
Middle Ages
  • Period of decline
    • Cartographic and regional approach was lost in Europe:
      • Representation of the world was “Christianized”.
      • Orthodoxy replaced objective observation and analysis.
    • “T and O” Maps (Orbis Terrae):
      • T is the Mediterranean (+ Nile and Black Sea).
      • O is the surrounding ocean.
    • Greek and Roman knowledge kept by the Byzantine Empire and by the Arabs.

T-O map from the Etymologiae of Isidorus, 12th Century

age of discovery
Age of Discovery
  • Exploration and innovation
    • The 15th and 16th centuries were characterized by numerous maritime explorations.
    • A commercial expansion of European nations.
    • Several technical innovations:
      • The compass, more precise maps.
      • Larger ships (they passed from 200 to 600 tons during the sixteenth century), better ship structures and the rudder.
      • Insure a safe, fast and therefore profitable maritime navigation.
    • Creation of the first accurate world maps.
modern era
Modern Era
  • A complete world map
    • Early 20th century.
    • Complete and accurate view of the world.
    • Coordinate systems.
    • National inventories of resources.
    • Widely available atlases.
  • Information technologies
    • Use of remote sensing (aerial photographs and remote sensing).
    • Digital maps.
    • Mass diffusion through online accessibility.
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