Weltkarte mit Kompass

The Making of the World Map: A Journey Through the History of Cartography

The world map is one of mankind's most recognizable symbols and has had a fascinating history over time. However, today's world map was not simply created overnight, but is the result of millennia of exploration and cartography.

The origins of the world map date back to ancient times when the Greeks and Romans began drawing maps of their known lands. However, these maps were very limited as they only showed the areas inhabited by these cultures. Other areas, like Africa and Asia, were mostly empty or filled with fantasy creations.

However, it was in the Middle Ages when cartography underwent a significant change. The discovery of new countries and continents, particularly the voyages of Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan, greatly expanded our understanding of the world. The discovery of America by Columbus in 1492 was a milestone in the history of cartography and fundamentally changed the way we understood the world.

In the 16th century, cartographers began to produce globes and maps of greater accuracy and precision. The Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator was considered a pioneer in this field and created a map that is known to this day: the Mercator projection. This projection showed the world as a flat map, making it possible to depict long distances in a straight path, which was an important innovation at the time.

Other maps and projections have been produced over time, including the Peters projection, which provides a more accurate representation of the size of countries in relation to their actual area. Most of today's world maps are based on the Mercator projection or a modified form of it.

It is important to note that the world maps we know today are not perfect and still contain many inconsistencies and distortions. The maps are a reflection of our own perceptions and prejudices and can often be politically motivated. It is therefore important to look at different maps and perspectives to gain a more complete understanding of the world.

Overall, the creation of the world map is a fascinating process fueled by the exploration and cartography of new countries and continents. Today's world maps are based on centuries of innovation and advances in cartography, but there is still room for improvement and innovation.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.