Slideshow: How the World Map Has Changed


From the first civilizations in Mesopotamia, to the European Age of Sail, our understanding of the planet and its inhabitants has undergone incredible growth.

1baylonianmaps 2eratosthenes 3karte_orosius 4Anglo-Saxon_World_Map 5al_idrisi 6vesconte_vatican 7kangnido 8vinland 9genoese 11americas 12OrteliusWorldMap 13map1709 14Cary_Map_of_the_World_on_Mercator_Projection_-_Geographicus_-_WorldMerc-cary-1801
This 1470 Japanese map is one of the oldest surviving from East Asia. An older copy was found in Korea, which was in turn based on a Chinese version. Info about Europe and Africa came with Islamic travelers, who crossed Asia’s Mongol Empire in the 1300s. Image: Honkoo-ji Tokiwa Museum of Historical Materials, via Wikimedia Commons.