The Idea of North

Thony Christie explores the question of why north is at the top of modern maps by looking in detail at medieval and early modern maps, which had no consensus. “I think that the re-emergence of the Ptolemaic world map at the beginning of the fifteenth century and the development of modern cartography that it triggered which eventually led to the dominance of north orientation in mapmaking, perhaps combined with the increased use of the magnetic compass.”

The Hereford Mappa Mundi … in Spaaaaaace!

A copy of the Hereford Mappa Mundi, brought to the International Space Station by British astronaut Tim Peake, turned up on Twitter yesterday. BBC News has the details. [via]