Maps – Geographic Descriptions of the World
Map makers over the centuries faced their own challenges in trying to produce drawings to describe the physical world.
The effort, of course, was initially limited by how much of the world the original mapmakers knew. The earliest maps preserved for us are on clay tablets, created by the Babylonians in about 2300 BCE. By definition, these described a couple of square miles, at best. Cartography advanced in ancient Greece, giving us, among other things, the concept of a spherical Earth by the time of Aristotle, in 350 BCE. In each case, however, a map could only describe the part of the world known to the map makers—that is, Europe, Northern Africa, and some of Asia
As the rest of the world was explored, ...