Maps That Changed the World

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Since I love maps, I suggest you check out this Maps That Changed the World piece from the Daily Mail.

Google Earth is rightly among them, but most are historical maps that represent breakthrough events for mankind.  Here is a preview of my favorites (click to view larger image):

You gotta love propaganda.  ”Be On Guard” was early pro-Bolshevik propaganda that highlighted the European threat and helped to define the Soviet identity.

The Henricus Martellus World Map (circa 1490) was allegedly used by Columbus and one of the earliest to depict a round earth on a flat surface.  Note the absence of the Americas.

America finally shows up in the Waldseemuller Map (circa 1509), though it’s looking pretty scrawny.  It is here officially named after the navigator Amerigo Vespucci.

This 1889 descriptive map of London’s poverty may have been the precursor to geographic information systems.  Black is the poorest, gold is the wealthiest.

The London Tube Map of 1933 was the first to place stops at regular intervals for easy reading, thus saying “screw it” to the idea of maintaining scale.  This ultimately explains why Manhattan keeps getting fatter in the ever-evolving NYC subway map.

Be sure to check out the rest of the maps here.  Which is your favorite?

[All image credits to the British Library via The Daily Mail]

[Props: Freakonomics]

Posted on May 28th 2010 in Artful Impact

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