The Cantino Planisphere

Cantino Planisphere, ca. 1502. Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Modena, Italy. Wikimedia Commons.

Maps aren’t always named for their creators. The Gough map and the Selden map are named the people who owned them last before bequeathing them to the Bodleian Library. The Cantino planisphere, a Portuguese map of the world showing that country’s discoveries in the Americas and along the African coast, is named after the person who, ah, acquired it: in 1502 Alberto Cantino, undercover agent for the Duke of Ferrara, smuggled it out of Portugal, where maps were state secrets. Here’s an article about the Cantino planisphere from the March/April 2017 issue of National Geographic History magazine.

One Line, One Map, One World


Joseph Berkner’s One Line—One Map—One World is a map of the world drawn in a single line.

In mapping, lines are (mostly) used as borders to divide the space in sections: borders between land and water, borders between different altitudes or borders between nations. As a person who loves to make maps, for the last weeks I was thinking about what I can do to draw a line to CONNECT instead of DIVIDE. So I created a world map consisting of a single line. When watching the map from far away you cannot see the connections. It looks like everything is divided. But if you go closer you can see that everything is one. To realize that we are somehow all one community you need to go close to others.

The map is available for purchase as a print or digital download.