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1507 Waldseemuller Map - Here Be Dragons

About 1507 Waldseemuller Map

Previous Entry 1507 Waldseemuller Map Oct. 28th, 2009 @ 07:25 am Next Entry
There's a nice BBC article on the 1507 Waldseemuller map at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8328878.stm .
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Date:October 29th, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC)

The largest online version of the map I've found so far is here, if anyone's interested in the fine detail.

The puzzlement over their depiction of the Pacific Ocean surprises me. They appear to have known that east of Asia was sea, and that the world was a globe, so it would be obvious that west of America was sea; the thing they didn't know was how far west the American land mass went.

Wikipedia suggests a better explanation for the puzzlement, i.e. that America was still widely confused with eastern Asia when they drew the map. But it also says that they had a good idea of the latitude and longitude of things, which seems fairly plausible from the map and if true would presumably be enough to infer that the New World wasn't Asia after all, even if some of their contemporaries were still insisting otherwise.

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