Map of the world, 1720
(Original Caption) 18th century map of the world. Published in Paris in 1720, this French map shows the known world, including the new lands that had been discovered in the preceding centuries by Europeans exploring across the Atlantic and far to the East around Africa. It divides the Earth into a western and eastern hemisphere, and uses colour to mark different areas of land. The map is by Guillaume de l'Isle (1675-1726), the leading French cartographer of the eighteenth century. He was appointed Premier Geographe du Roi to King Louis XV in 1718. This edition of his world map includes the western and northern coastlines of Australia, mapped by the Dutch. Australia's eastern coastline would not be mapped until 1770.
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Map of the world, 1660
17th century map of the world. Published in Amsterdam in 1660, this map by the Dutch cartographer Frederick de Witt (1630-1706) shows the expanding exploration of the known world. The map divides the Earth into a western and eastern hemisphere. In the upper corners are the constellations of the northern and southern celestial poles, with the geographical poles in the lower corners. Above and below the hemispheres are the Aristotlean elements of Air, Fire, Earth and Water. At upper centre is the Sun, with the Earth orbiting on an ecliptic ring of zodaical symbols. At lower centre, Ptolemy's geocentric cosmology (left) is contrasted with the heliocentric Copernican cosmology (right).
© Library Of Congress, Geography And Map Division/Science Photo Library
Map of the world, 1590
16th century map of the world. Published around 1590, this map shows the known world, including the new lands being discovered by Europeans exploring across the Atlantic and far to the East around Africa. It forms part of a portolan atlas (a collection of navigational charts) by the cartographer Joan Oliva, who was active from 1580- 1615. A central compass rose lies at the meeting point of the Greenwich Meridian and the equator, and lines of longitude are seen radiating from the poles. Although the land shapes are distorted, and the map incorrectly shows southern Asia attached to North America (far left), maps like this were among the best available at the time.
© LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, GEOGRAPHY AND MAP DIVISION/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY