[ISHMap-List] Cartographic innovations by the early portolan chartmakers
tonycampbellockendon at gmail.com
Thu Dec 8 13:03:54 CET 2016
The following new online publication might be of interest to some on
*Cartographic innovations by the early portolan chartmakers*
*(and subsequent developments)***
*focusing through the centuries on the traditional medieval coverage:
*the Mediterranean and Black Seas, the North Sea and Baltic, and
Since the medieval portolan charts were the earliest systematic and
dedicated cartographic aids for marine navigation, it is inevitable that
various hydrographic features will be appearing there for the first
time.But, beyond that, the inventiveness of successive chartmakers led
to the introduction of a number of conventions into cartography /as a
whole/.Indeed, it is not unreasonable to claim that those charts, in the
form they had achieved by the end of the developmental period (around
1330), embodied more cartographic inventions than /any other map type/.
A list of the specific innovations found on the earliest survivors is
followed by an itemising of the contrivances introduced on the work of
Pietro Vesconte (1311-c.30) and those who came after him.
A number of the introductions, particularly the documenting of offshore
hazards, were clearly designed as practical aids for mariners.Overall,
what the charts offered seamen was unparalleled in its complexity and
practical usefulness compared to anything made for landsmen.
The extended geographical coverage up to 1500 is described, along with
the charts’ geometric and toponymic developments.A few were still being
produced in the late 17^th century, which means that this visually
distinctive genre of marine charts had a life of some 400 years.Such
longevity, for a largely unchanging format retained for its practical
utility, may well be unprecedented in cartography.
Comments are invited.
tony at tonycampbell.info
tonycampbellockendon at GMAIL.COM
info at maphistory.info
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