Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Ancient Maps on Globes

The DX Lab out of the  State Library of New South Wales in Australia is experimenting with placing 17th and 18th Century maps from their collection onto globes.
http://digital.sl.nsw.gov.au/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE3538803
The map above is a 1706 world map by Portuguese cartographer Joseph Da Costa e Miranda. Below the map is "unprojected" onto a globe that you can watch in motion here - it may not work on all web browsers.
http://dxlab.sl.nsw.gov.au/meridian
The experiment, called Meridian, reverses the typical paper map process. Instead of projecting the globe onto a flat surface, these maps are "unprojected" from paper, back onto the globe. Here it is in motion:
http://dxlab.sl.nsw.gov.au/meridian/?globe=miranda
This was done manually which sounds painful. Here's a description from the making page.
We didn’t have access to map projection software, so I manually distorted the image by eye, gradually vertically squashing the image more and more as it got closer to the top and bottom.
They have also worked on a globe by Vincenzo Maria Coronelli, who created a series of copper engravings of globe gores as seen below.
 With this result. Click to see in detail.
http://dxlab.sl.nsw.gov.au/meridian/?globe=coronelli1
The lab is expecting to add more globes shortly. You can read about the process here.

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