Friday, 27 December 2013

terra incognito

Gizmodo (via the Presurfer) features a gallery of historic maps of the Americas made before the idea (knowledge of geography being what it is, rightly or wrongly) of the shapes of the continents and coast had fully cemented in the heads of European explorers.

It took centuries, for example, to disabuse cartographers from the conception that California was not some disembodied island already, and some are effacingly honest, like the chart called, “Map of New-England, Being the First That Ever Was Here Cut, and Done by the Best Pattern That Could Be Had, Which Being in Some Places Defective, It Made the Other Less Exact: Yet Doth It Sufficiently Shew the Scituation of the Country, and Conveniently” and shewing a part of Pennsylvania and a part of Long Iſland.