History of The World, Part Map

Yes, the title is a nod to Mel Brooks and The History of the World Part II, and this article could also be titled: The Quest for Seamless Data Infrastructure: The new Holy Grail.

The origin of the ultimate seamless map began long before the advent of accurate measurement, and many view the only purpose of maps of this vintage is to characterize the warring of nations throughout history.

Like many things, it can be ascribed that cartography would never have had its place as a noteworthy occupation without the military. Navigation, and later defined boundaries, were two essential components toward the development of stable and sustainable societies. While it is true that the funding of these endeavors largely fueled the industry, it is the savvy Geographer that sees the other dimesions of value beyond military application.

Globalization and Ecocentrism

1300-

from The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-first Century (2006) by Robert B. Marks

from The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-first Century (2006)
by Robert B. Marks

Globalization first began when trade and technology first traveled laterally (latitudinally) to N. Africa, Europe and Asia. Asia led the world in numbers and desirable commodities through the 1400s, before this time the entire history of the world played . Western seafarers, driven mad by the “underhand” in the global trade circuits, bumblingly discovered an abundant source of silver for exploitation in the “New World.” Trade between continents forever changed the biotic structures of the varying ecosystems, and human commodities and technologies began the journey toward the ultimate global trading network now known as the modern world. Humans in different regions have varying resources through which they derive their livelihoods, and their ability to find sustainability in the use of these resources will determine the longevity of any given culture or regional population.

Globalization is very basically the interchange of goods and technologies between people of different cultures. Different cultures arise from different geographies, because what food and resources are available dictate quality of life. It is likely that few cultures are fully aware of their paradigm, and even to be aware of one’s paradigm – or “cultural lenses” – doesn’t preclude that it is easy to see without them. The challenge is to find the humility of being a true global citizen is to appreciate the culture of others, judge fairly the differences without attaching rank, and all without compromising or defacing the integrity of one’s own heritage.

These four maps and the one above are from The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-first Century (2006) by Robert B. Marks

Use your cartographer eye to notice the changes across the centuries are represented by the place names showing the regions of the globe that had been mapped at that time.

1450 –

from The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-first Century (2006) by Robert B. Marks

Center of the World is The Silk Road

1760 –

from The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-first Century (2006) by Robert B. Marks

Polarizing Powers, and Early Exploration to America

1900 –

from The Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-first Century (2006) by Robert B. Marks

Established Map Boundaries Date the Early forms of National Boundaries

Maps are Instruments of Peace

It is much more difficult to change the boundary of ownership in the landscape. Note the general date range reflecting the advent of Triangulated Surveying.

  • 1714-1784 survey season – Carte de France
  • 1783–1853 survey season – British Ordinance Survey
  • 1767 – 1843 survey season – Survey of India
  • 1869-1871 survey season – Wheeler Survey
  • 1879-1920 survey season – Historic US Geological Survey

Watch what happens to the amount of warring (reflected by an increase in static borders) throughout history – map series produced by TimeMaps. Most boundaries are close to their present day perimeter and shape by the late 1800s.

timemaps_World_1453 timemaps_World_1648 timemaps_World_1789 timemaps_World_1837 timemaps_World_1871

Take a more granular look at Europe and India

timemaps_1453

Time Maps India 1453

1648

Time Maps India 1648

 

Time Maps India 1789

Time Maps India 1789

Time Maps India 1837

Time Maps India 1837

Time Maps India 1871

Time Maps India 1871

Time Maps Europe 1453

Time Maps Europe 1453

And in Europe

Time Maps Europe 1648

Time Maps Europe 1648

Time Maps Europe 1789

Time Maps Europe 1789

Time Maps Europe 1837

Time Maps Europe 1837

Time Maps Europe 1871

Time Maps Europe 1871

Mapping, like understanding, in many cases is correlated to peace. Of course the 1700s were not the end of all wars, this observation is generalized, but nonetheless logical that having documentation to back the word of a land owner on the perimeter of a parcel, and held by a central database, makes it more difficult to claim transference or change of boundary. So it is the claim that drudgery of changing paperwork is actually an agent of peace.

The First Era of National Map

The very beginning of the seamless data layer for the globe – Triangulated Surveys. Triangulated Cartography was the necessary counterpart to this endeavor. Artistic rendering was secondary to the scientific lead of triangulation, not because the Cartography was inferior but because the task of Surveying was so great.

British Ordinance Survey

british ordinance survey 1852

Survey of India

WMA_Arrowsmith-seam-remoal-3

Carte de France

carte de france

 General Wheeler Maps

wheeler-topo wheeler-progress map

USGS Historical Topographic Maps

USGS Historical Topo Maine Big Lake-1941 historical us topo boston harbor

Buckminster Fuller Dymaximum Maps

In the spirit of seamless.

dymaxion landsat satelite dymaxion wood dymaxion poes satelite

Margaret Spyker

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