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A Vast, 430-Year-Old World Map, Full of Places and Creatures, Real and Imagined

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Who doesn’t love old maps? This beautiful and creative map from Urbano Monte, which is over 400 years old and not exactly accurate, has now been digitized by academic David Rumsey.

Via Atlas Obscura.

Monte envisaged the component maps—60 in all—being stitched together, and so left detailed instructions for how to turn them into one giant representation of the world, over nine feet in diameter. Included in the four volumes are also charts showing the lengths of days at different times of year and an extended geographical treatise on the world and cosmology. Unlike many modern maps, which use the Mercator projection from around the same time, his map shows the world from directly above the North Pole. Today, this perspective is known as the north polar azimuthal projection, most famously used on the logo of the United Nations.

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