11 Waldseemueller Projection

Waldseemueller Projection

When drawing the Americas Waldseemueller used a bizarre projection – his was the first attempt to project land from a globe onto a flat piece of paper. If one takes Waldseemueller’s latitudes and longitudes of the Americas from a flat chart and reverses the process – by putting the co-ordinates on a globe, the results are astounding. North and South America leap off the globe correctly positioned relative to NW Africa, with correct land mass, and with the correct shape save that the Galapagos islands have been mistakenly included as mainland, the north coast of S America is shown 8 degrees too far south and Patagonia 10 degrees too far East. Nonetheless it is a staggering achievement – clearly someone had sailed some 25000 miles of Pacific and Atlantic coasts to enable the continent to be drawn with such accuracy, and so many rivers and headlands to be incorporated. (GM workings regarding latitude and longitude in Annex I)

View map: The Waldseemueller Projection map

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