12 Maps That Changed the World - Uri Friedman
"All cultures have always believed that the map they valorize is real and true and objective and transparent," Brotton, a professor of Renaissance studies at Queen Mary University of London, told me. "All maps are always subjective.... Even today’s online geospatial applications on all your mobile devices and tablets, be they produced by Google or Apple or whoever, are still to some extent subjective maps." There are, in other words, no perfect maps—just maps that (more-or-less) perfectly capture our understanding of the world at discrete moments in time. 1. Humans have been sketching maps for millennia, but Claudius Ptolemy was the first to use math and geometry to develop a manual for how to map the planet using a rectangle and intersecting lines—one that resurfaced in 13th-century Byzantium and was used until the early 17th century. 2. 3. This map from England's Hereford Cathedral depicts "what the world looked like to medieval Christians," Brotton says. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.