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It is essentially a European view and it needs to be emphasised that this development was not evenly spread across the Earth.
In Europe, the Renaissance period brought a number of significant changes which hugely affected mapping: All these led to a massive expansion in geographic knowledge and mapping.
The decoration often included angels and imaginary monsters.
In the Islamic world, the study of the science of mapping and geography did progress.
In the late-1700s maps which showed a theme started to emerge.
These were used to record the spread of a particular ‘event’ – for instance, the location of people who had a contagious illness or the extent of a flood.
was published, the earth was "scientifically" determined to be 100 million years old. In 1947, science firmly established that the earth was 3.4 billion years old.
Finally in 1976, it was discovered that the earth is "really" 4.6 billion years old… The answer of 25 million years deduced by Kelvin was not received favorably by geologists.
In addition to this, it is colourful, has no decoration and gives an indication of the height of the land and depth of the sea – a theme.
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One interesting development was the adoption of the principle of having Jerusalem in the centre of a ‘world’ map and the Orient (Asia) at the top of the map.
Also, in part as a religious statement but also for artistic reasons, maps drawn in this time were also heavily decorated.
This tablet (circa 600BC), which is in the collection of the British Museum, is an excellent example of Babylonian clay tablet maps.