Segments in this Video

History of Cartography (05:07)


The oldest known map was created by an Ancient Greek philosopher. Alexander the Great's military conquests contributed to the expansion of cartography. Longitude and latitude began being widely used in the Middle Ages in Europe.

Islam in the Present (03:40)

In the 10th century, Islamic civilizations used cartography to map trade routes and the road to Mecca. The invention of the astrolabe and compass made charting navigation easier. New discoveries through exploration and science led to advances in the field of cartography.

Cartographic Technique: Spheres Made Flat (02:17)

There are more than 265 ways to depict a spherical shape on a flat surface. In 1775, Leonhard Euler created a way to ensure the spherical surface was not distorted.

The Problem with Greenland (02:51)

Areas of flat maps appear more distorted the further away from the Equator they are. Globes are the only accurate depiction of the Earth’s surface.

Present Day Cartography (02:09)

Modern technology and satellites have led to much of the planet being mapped using photography. GPS devices are replacing personal maps.

A Look From Afar (02:51)

Advancements in space exploration allowed for photographs of the planet. The Voyager spacecraft traveled throughout the galaxy transmitting images to Earth.

Summary (04:16)

Cartography is the science of recording geography on maps. Technology has led to more advance mapping systems, such as GPS.

Credits: Cartography (02:25)

Credits: Cartography

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Part of the Series : Just the Facts Technology and Society Series
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



For millenia, humans have felt the need to understand the world in which we live. Everything we have discovered has been translated into maps, which have become increasingly precise over the centuries. In this program, learn about cartography: the science of map-making. How do we represent the spherical surface of the Earth on a map?

Length: 28 minutes

Item#: BVL155102

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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