The 16th century was a period of transition in the history of cartography. When the century began, the recent discovery of the New World had already altered forever the maps of the world. When it ended, the first examples of atlases were being produced. Although Apianus' Cosmography deals with many cartographic issues, it is not an atlas nor a collection of maps. Cartographic problems such as the shape of the earth, map projections and measurement are all part of the discipline of cosmography, and are integrated into the text. The book presents very elementary geographical concepts, such as an introduction to the names of landforms, as well as more sophisticated problems such as making map projections. The Cosmographia would therefore have been useful as an elementary text as well as being of value to more advanced readers.

 On this map, geographic features are illustrated
and named to provide a common terminology
click for larger image

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