Thursday, October 13, 2016
The First Map of America
You can now explore the first ever map to use the word 'America' - with Google Maps. Martin Waldseemüller's 1507 map 'Universalis Cosmographia' has the 'America' place-name on what is now called South America. The name was used by Waldseemüller in honor of the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
A Land Beyond the Stars is a new website created by the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress and the Galileo Museum in Florence. As well as the interactive version of Waldseemüller's 1507 map the site includes a wealth of information and videos explaining 16th century understanding of cartography & astronomy.
The interactive map itself contains a number of options to learn more about the Universalis Cosmographia map. These options include detailed explanations of the map's main five sections, translations of the Latin text and explanations of some of the map illustrations.