“Africae Novo” Map
The “Africae novo” map, from the early 1600s, allows us to think through the interpretation of one historical map. Unlike some historical maps that are mysteries, we know the origins of this one: it was produced by a famous Dutch cartographer, Willem Blaeu, and published in his 1630 atlas. The atlas has survived in several copies, and this artist is quite well known. Blaeu was an instrument maker, a globe manufacturer, and an engraver. Like most cartographers of the time, he was not an explorer himself: he drew his maps from the accounts of explorers, traders, and travellers. He also no doubt used earlier maps as a basic template for his own.
This source is a part of the Analyzing Maps methods module.