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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mysteries of the Waldseemüller Map

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Mysteries of the Waldseemüller Map----
Waldseemüller Map with the name America written on an accurate depiction of S. AmericaDavid Alexander / Reuters:
Map that named America is a puzzle for researchers -- The only surviving copy of the 500-year-old map that first used the name America goes on permanent display this month at the Library of Congress, but even as it prepares for its debut, the 1507 Waldseemuller map remains a puzzle for researchers.

Why did the mapmaker name the territory America and then change his mind later? How was he able to draw South America so accurately? Why did he put a huge ocean west of America years before European explorers discovered the Pacific?

"That's the kind of conundrum, the question, that is still out there," said John Hebert, chief of the geography and map division of the Library of Congress.

The 12 sheets that make up the map, purchased from German Prince Johannes Waldburg-Wolfegg for $10 million in 2003, were mounted on Monday in a huge 6-foot by 9.5-foot (1.85 meter by 2.95 meter) display case machined from a single block of aluminum.

The case will be flooded with inert argon gas to prevent deterioration when it goes on public display December 13. [...]
related:
John Herbert / Library of Congress:
The Map That Named America -- Library Acquires 1507 Waldseemüller Map of the World

Wikipedia: Waldseemüller map
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Waldseemüller Mapphoto of Waldseemüller Map in dispay case
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