The picture of the world

Anna Filippova, August 6, 2014

Today it doesn’t take one more than 15 hours to get to the farthest place on the Earth.Our ancestors couldn’t have their morning papers delivered in that time. The world has become compact and familiar. Lonely planet publishes jumbo guide books on the most secret places. And the world map is an absolute symbol like a multiplication table.

Before great seafarers discovered India on purpose and America by chance, they hadn’t had the idea of what the Earth looks like. One can see the amazing picture of the discovery process in the maps. The authors of the first maps were not only scientists, but true artists. They made up something due to the lack of information, sometimes they misplaced the oceans and drew the wrong number of continents, but they all wanted to learn and to record.

Hellene Ptolemay was the first astronomer who collected all the information the ancient Greeks knew about the Earth and made a handbook on Geography, which consisted of 8 volumes. He drew almost 30 maps based on the travelers’ stories, which, however, were more artistic than  accurate.



Cartographers of Medieval Europe and Islamic world used Ptolemaic maps to make maps, which differed mostly in design.

Later on Geography developed rapidly. Just watch and see.

12th century:


13th century:


14th century:


15th century:


In 1507 they made the first atlas where you could see America, the only copy of it is stored in the Congress library in the USA.


16th century:


Australia makes its debut:


The map of the world which we use now is not quite accurate in scales. This is what the Earth really looks like:


The map of the world in the USA:


The map of the world in Australia:


This is what our planet looked like in late palaeozoic period:


At the end of the Geography lesson you may see some more great maps and atlases:


Теперь — как всем этим можно пользоваться в иллюстрации:

Alighiero Boetti


Paula Scher


Matthew Rangel


Owen Gatley


Becky Cooper 


Takayo Akiyama


Maggie Li