The story of maps is 2,600 years in the making. When the first mapmakers etched the known world into stone, they were completely unaware that their “world” was only a mere fraction of the planet’s surface. As humanity’s knowledge grew, so did the sophistication of maps, whether showcasing the complexity of our cartographic skills or newly discovered regions of the globe. Eventually, mapmakers’ attempts to capture the world on paper evolved into the satellite maps of today, which are so accurate they can give turn-by-turn directions to the grocery store.
These seven historical maps act as a journey through our understanding of the world, each providing an intimate snapshot of the era in which they were made. Some represent cutting-edge mathematics or up-to-date geographic information, while others are a reflection of the very minds that made them, capturing a specific moment in time.