Cartography Research Papers
Cartography is the study and production of maps. It is an ancient discipline that dates back to antiquity. Research papers on cartography examine the early cartographers and the early maps that defined the world as it was known by early explorers.
The earliest known map has been dated to the ancient city of Catal Huyuk in the Anatolian region of Turkey, around 7500 BCE. Both the ancient Greeks and Romans had maps, with Ptolemy’s Geographia, from the 2nd century CE containing his world map. The ancient Chinese as well had maps, as early as the Qin Dynasty during the Warring States period (5th century BCE).
Cartography, as a science, grew extensively in the Age of Exploration. Christopher Columbus is known to have studied cartography extensively before setting out on his first journey to discover the Indies by sailing West. It was in that same year that German cartographer Martin Behaim produced the first globe.
- The earliest maps were drawn by hand.
- As exploration and technology increased, the invention of tools such as the compass allowed for greater accuracy in cartography.
- Many maps combine science with art, and classic cartography produced some stunning works of art.
There are, of course, different types of maps. General maps are examples of cartography for a general audience, such as can be found in National Geographic magazine. Topographic maps employ contour lines in order to show elevation. Topological maps disregard scale and detail in order to present information succinctly, such as a map one might draw to give directions to a friend.