On This Day 22 May

By TheBoldAge. Published 2020-05-22
Abraham Ortelius publishes the first collection of maps; summarising 16th century cartography in what is the world's first known atlas

1570 - precursor to GPS; the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum


Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the Orb of the World) was printed in Antwerp and contained a collection of map sheets and text which were bound to form an atlas. It was written by Abraham Ortelius from the Brabant area.

Prior to this collection most maps were released individually, to order. This was the first collection that had a consistent style, size and ordered by continent, region and state.

This first edition had 33 cartographers, rising to 183 in 1601.

It was the Dutch speaking cartographers who helped establish the basis of modern cartography through their frequent travels, trade and commercial ventures. With the Dutch ships travelling far and wide, they increased the scope of their maps and published them freely. It was in fact the Dutch who were the first non-indigenous to map the Australian coastline.

For those of you that have a spare £210k and want to have your own copy of the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum you can make the purchase via the following link: here

Other events on this day

  • 337 - Constantine is the first Roman emperor to be baptised into the Christian Church on his deathbed
  • 760 - 14th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet
  • 1570 - the first atlas (Theatrum Orbis Terrarum) published in Antwerp
  • 1840 - transporting of British convicts to NSW (Australia) is abolished
  • 1891 - Edison demonstrates the Kinetoscope - the first motion picture
  • 1897 - Blackwall Tunnel (London) officially opened
  • 1906 - the Wright brothers' flying machine patented
  • 1939 - Hitler and Mussolini signed the Pact of Steel - full military and political alliance
  • 1947 - first ballistic missile launched in New Mexico
  • 1972 - Nixon is the first US President to visit Moscow
  • 1980 - Pac-Man testing began in Shibuya
  • 1990 - Windows 3.0 released by Microsoft
  • 2010 - Nicolaus Copernicus' remains reburied after a 200 year search for his tomb
  • 2018 - first woman head of NYSE announced
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