Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July Surprise

In 2010 I reported about a Waldseemüller map that our Chancellor Angela Merkel donated to the Library of Congress. Martin Waldseemüller is the guy who made a map of the world and named the new continent in the west of the old world America.

Foto: AFP

Surprise: Today on American Independence Day the Badische Zeitung reported that two female scientists found a smaller copy of Waldseemüller’s 500 year old map in the Munich University Library hidden in a two hundred year old book about geometry.

Their discovery presents only the fifth copy known so far of this so-called globe map (Globuskarte) printed around 1510. Its segments, when properly arranged, fold nicely into a globe of 11 cm diameter.

The detail on the left shows a rather rudimentary form of North America whereas the dimensions of South America were a little better known at the time of Waldseemüller. The mass of land in the south served as the place to print the name for the new continent: America.

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