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A map is a symbolic depiction emphasizing relationships between elements of some space, such as objects, regions, or themes.

Many maps are static, fixed to paper or some other durable medium, while others are dynamic or interactive. Although most commonly used to depict geography, maps may represent any space, real or fictional, without regard to context or scale, such as in brain mapping, DNA mapping, or computer network topology mapping. The space being mapped may be two dimensional, such as the surface of the earth, three dimensional, such as the interior of the earth, or even more abstract spaces of any dimension, such as arise in modeling phenomena having many independent variables.

Although the earliest maps known are of the heavens, geographic maps of territory have a very long tradition and exist from ancient times. The word "map" comes from the medieval Latin Mappa mundi, wherein mappa meant napkin or cloth and mundi the world. Thus, "map" became a shortened term referring to a two-dimensional representation of the surface of the world.

Map Media

181,050 media by topicpage 1 of 1811
Tartariae sive Magni Chami Regni tÿpus.

Tartariae sive Magni Chami Regni tÿpus.

Covers northern Asia. Relief shown pictorially. From Abraham Ortelius's atlas: Theatrvm Orbis Terrarvm, 1603 ed. Hand col. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. Includes tex... more

Ierusalem, cum suburbiis, prout tempore Christi floruit, accurate notatis omnibus insignibus et praecipuè iis locis... /

Ierusalem, cum suburbiis, prout tempore Christi floruit, accurate nota...

Relief shown pictorially. German. Titles in Latin and German. Shows Jerusalem during the time of Christ. Includes descriptive text in German. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image.

Britons! Your country needs you / Printed by Saunders & Cullingham, 2 & 3 Burgon Street, Carter Lane, London, E.C.

Britons! Your country needs you / Printed by Saunders & Cullingham, 2 ...

Poster showing map of British Isles behind text. Poster no. 23. Wt. 8936. 50M. 1632/12/14. Title from item.

Map
Yu ji tu.

Yu ji tu.

Stone rubbing dated 1903? One of the earliest stone maps, it consists of 5,110 grids, each grid is approximately 100 li. Original stone was engraved in Fuchang 7 nian, i.e. 1136 A.D. The stone is now in the For... more

Yu ji tu.
Hua yi tu.

Hua yi tu.

Stone rubbing dated 1903? Original stone was engraved in Fuchang 7 nian, i.e. 1136 A.D. The stone is now in the Forest of Stone Steles Museum in Xi'an, China. Covers China in Nan Song Dynasty, from east to the ... more

Hua yi tu.

Hua yi tu.

Scale not given. Stone rubbing dated 1933? Original stone was engraved in Fuchang 7 nian, i.e. 1136 A.D. The stone is now in the Forest of Stone Steles Museum in Xi'an, China. Covers China in Nan Song Dynasty,... more

Hua yi tu

Hua yi tu

Stone rubbing dated 1903? Original stone was engraved in Fuchang 7 nian, i.e. 1136 A.D. The stone is now in the Forest of Stone Steles Museum in Xi'an, China. Covers China in Nan Song Dynasty, from east to the ... more

Pingjiang tu.

Pingjiang tu.

Stone rubbing dated between 1858 and 1869. One of the earliest and biggest stone rubbing maps in China. Original stone was engraved in 1229 under Li Shoupeng. The map is now in the Museum of Engraved Stone Tabl... more

[Portolan chart of the Mediterranean Sea ca. 1320-1350 : manuscript chart of the Mediterranean and Black seas on vellum].

[Portolan chart of the Mediterranean Sea ca. 1320-1350 : manuscript ch...

Anonymous nautical chart in portolan style probably drawn in Genoa. Covers Mediterranean Sea from the Balearic Islands to the Levantine coast; also covers western part of Black Sea. Oldest original cartographic... more

[World map by Ptolemy]

[World map by Ptolemy]

Title devised by Library staff. Illus. in: Claudii Ptholemei Alexandrini philosophi Cosmographia. Rome : Arnoldus Buckinck, 10 Oct. (VI Idus Octobris) 1478. Published in: The tradition of technology : Landmarks... more

Prima Asie Tabula : continet pontum & Bithiniã et regionem q̃, pprie Asya dicitur ac lyciam & Gallaciam ac Pamphiliam & Cappadociam Armeniam minorem & Syliciam

Prima Asie Tabula : continet pontum & Bithiniã et regionem q̃, pprie ...

Asie maioris tabule decem quarum prima Courtesy of Boston Public Library

The world

The world

The classical Greek and Roman world view is known to us through the writings of Claudius Ptolemy, a 2nd century A.D. astronomer, mathematician, and geographer who lived in Alexandria, Egypt. Although his origin... more

[Frantia]

[Frantia]

France Courtesy of Boston Public Library

Maps from BL Arundel 93, ff. 148v-149

Maps from BL Arundel 93, ff. 148v-149

Miniatures of maps of the islands of Phormachi and Agathousa, Samos, and the Fourni, illustrating sections 53-55. Image taken from ff. 148v-149 of Liber insularum archipelagi. Written in Latin.

Maps from BL Arundel 93, ff. 158v-159

Maps from BL Arundel 93, ff. 158v-159

Miniatures of maps. Image taken from ff. 158v-159 of Liber insularum archipelagi. Written in Latin.

Maps from BL Arundel 93, ff. 147v-148

Maps from BL Arundel 93, ff. 147v-148

Miniatures of maps of the islands of Patmos, Dipsa, Crousia, and Icaria and Mandria, illustrating sections 48-52. Image taken from ff. 147v-148 of Liber insularum archipelagi. Written in Latin.

Maps from BL Arundel 93, f. 149v

Maps from BL Arundel 93, f. 149v

Miniatures of maps of the islands of Tenosa and Psara, illustrating sections 56-57. Image taken from f. 149v of Liber insularum archipelagi. Written in Latin.

Maps from BL Arundel 93, ff. 152v-153

Maps from BL Arundel 93, ff. 152v-153

Miniatures of maps, including of Tenedos and Gallipoli, illustrating sections 60 and 61. Image taken from ff. 152v-153 of Liber insularum archipelagi. Written in Latin.

[Hispania]
Maps from BL Arundel 93, ff. 155v-156

Maps from BL Arundel 93, ff. 155v-156

Miniatures of maps of the islands of 'Marmora' and 'Calomina'. Image taken from ff. 155v-156 of Liber insularum archipelagi. Written in Latin.

Maps from BL Arundel 93, ff. 145v-146

Maps from BL Arundel 93, ff. 145v-146

Miniatures of maps. Image taken from ff. 145v-146 of Liber insularum archipelagi. Written in Latin.

Maps from BL Arundel 93, ff. 157v-158

Maps from BL Arundel 93, ff. 157v-158

Miniatures of maps. Image taken from ff. 157v-158 of Liber insularum archipelagi. Written in Latin.

Maps from BL Arundel 93, ff. 146v-147

Maps from BL Arundel 93, ff. 146v-147

Miniatures of maps. Image taken from ff. 146v-147 of Liber insularum archipelagi. Written in Latin.

Indie interioris civitates decima Asia tabula continet India int. Gangem

Indie interioris civitates decima Asia tabula continet India int. Gang...

Decima Asia tabula continet India int. Gangem Courtesy of Boston Public Library

Unsigned and untitled T-O world map

Unsigned and untitled T-O world map

Simple map-like diagrams, known as T-O world maps, reflect a medieval European world view. These simple drawings portray the Earth's land masses as a circle surrounded by water. The land is separated into three... more

Asiento present hordenat a payon les responsions dels pezos e mezures : delahun boch al altre de tots los presents bochs nnomenats los quals son cap e regiment de la mercadoria hordenat : [Mediterraneo e Europa] /

Asiento present hordenat a payon les responsions dels pezos e mezures ...

Diagrammatic map of weights and measures in use in 27 Mediterranean and European seaports. Oriented with north to the right. Each port city is represented by a vignette of a prominent local tower and the vignet... more

Circular world map

Circular world map

The circular world map that appeared in the 1475 Latin edition of ''Rudimentum Novitorium'' and its subsequent French translations is considered the first printed map of the world. Drawn in the tradition of Med... more

Secunda etas mundi = Secunda etas mũdi

Secunda etas mundi = Secunda etas mũdi

Although published just as news of Christopher Columbus's discoveries was beginning to spread, this was the last noteworthy world map to be produced without any indication of the New World. This depiction of th... more

Leaves from Liber chronicarum, with views of de Sarmatia regione Europe, Cracovia, Lubeca and Nissa

Leaves from Liber chronicarum, with views of de Sarmatia regione Europ...

Casmirus | Lubeca | Cracovia Courtesy of Boston Public Library

Leaves from Liber chronicarum, with views of de Sarmatia regione Europe, Cracovia, Lubeca and Nissa

Leaves from Liber chronicarum, with views of de Sarmatia regione Europ...

Casmirus | Lubeca | Cracovia Courtesy of Boston Public Library

Plattegrond van de tempel in Jeruzalem

Plattegrond van de tempel in Jeruzalem

Rechthoekige plattegrond van de tempel in Jeruzalem. De prent maakt deel uit van een album.

Europe
Leaves from Liber chronicarum, with views of de Sarmatia regione Europe, Cracovia, Lubeca and Nissa

Leaves from Liber chronicarum, with views of de Sarmatia regione Europ...

Casmirus | Lubeca | Cracovia Courtesy of Boston Public Library

Vogelvluchtkaart van Venetië

Vogelvluchtkaart van Venetië

Kaart van Venetië gedrukt van 6 blokken op 12 in paren gelijmde bladen

[Portolan chart of the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and the coasts of Europe and northwest Africa].

[Portolan chart of the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and the coasts of...

Portolan chart with seaport names given for all coastlines. Title devised by cataloguer. Contains 4 compass roses in a circle centered in Italy to the north of Rome and half of a fifth on the trimmed center lef... more

Uniuersalior cogniti orbis tabula ex recentibus confecta obseruationibus

Uniuersalior cogniti orbis tabula ex recentibus confecta obseruationib...

In 1507, the same year that Martin Waldseemüller issued three works announcing the existence of a new continent which he named America, Johann Ruysch published a totally different world map. This rendition, wh... more

Blad met de plattegrond, het kapiteel en het basement van een Corinthische zuil naar Vitruvius

Blad met de plattegrond, het kapiteel en het basement van een Corinthi...

De prent is een kopie naar blad 63 verso uit de Cesariano-uitgave van Vitruvius uit 1521.

Decima Asiae tabula

Decima Asiae tabula

India Citra Gangem Fluvium Courtesy of Boston Public Library

[World map]

[World map]

The winds, known collectively as Venti, have long been viewed as both bringers of good fortune and sources of chaos. In ancient Greece and Rome, the winds were seen as personas; gods who brought favorable or di... more

World map

World map

As the first map printed in two colors, this is a monument to map printing. The place names in capital letters were printed in red ink by means of type set into the woodblocks. The decorative windheads, zodiaca... more

Septima Asiae tabula

Septima Asiae tabula

Scythia Intra Imaum Montem Courtesy of Boston Public Library

[The World]

[The World]

Ptolemaic world map Courtesy of Boston Public Library

Undecima Asiae tabula

Undecima Asiae tabula

India Extra Gangem Fluvium Courtesy of Boston Public Library

Octava Asiae tabula

Octava Asiae tabula

Scythia Extra Imaum Montem Courtesy of Boston Public Library

Orbis typus uniuersalis iuxta hydrographorum traditionem

Orbis typus uniuersalis iuxta hydrographorum traditionem

Waldseemüller may have had second thoughts about his 1507 proposal for naming the new continent "America." In 1513, he issued a fourth publication, a new edition of Claudius Ptolemy's Geographia. In it he incl... more