History of Maps: Middle Aged Cartography

Dear Mappers, 

This time on our walk through the history of maps we visit the middle age.

During Europe’s dark ages the map making has been dominated by the church. 

Scholars continued the map making traditions of earlier times, but maps remained small and schematic. Each was drawn for strictly limited purposes. What it showed and how it showed it depended on what purpose it was to serve. Because the single-purpose maps and the limitations of technique medieval mapmakers were prevented  from drawing the geographical outlines. Instead they often produced written descriptions where we would be more likely to draw a map.

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Map making developed independently in China. Its scope extended beyond China’s borders with the expansion of the  Chinese Empire under the Han dynasty. It entered its golden age with the invention of the compass during the Song dynasty, and reached its peak with the Ming dynasty which encourage a series of voyages to South China Sea and beyond. 

Another key point for European cartography in the end of the middle age period was the enthusiasm generated by the travels of Marco Polo. New information about faraway places drawn the interest of people in world maps and travel-exploration of new lands. Entering that way in the great age of discovery and exploration.

Hope you enjoyed this week blog post, more to come in History of Maps till then enjoy mapping on Map Creator.

Your WEU Community Team

Kleoniki, Paolo, Francesco, Elena, Arturs, Alicja, Belén, Solène, Pierre-Yves Ben, Claire, Pedro, Georg and Eric

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