Monday, April 23, 2018

Urbano Monte’s Planisphere


In November 2017 the David Rumsey Map Collection at Stanford University obtained one of only two manuscript copies of Urbano Monte's Planisphere. This huge map is one of the earliest large complete maps of the world.

The original manuscript map is in the form of a 60 sheet atlas. Urbano Monte intended for the sheets to be joined together to create one very large 10 foot map. The David Rumsey Map Collection has achieved that goal by digitizing all 60 sheets and creating a digital interactive map of Urbano Monte's Planisphere.

Monte himself suggested that a central pivot be added to the center of the map so that users could rotate the map while exploring the atlas. The digital interactive version of the map does include a rotation button, which mean you can spin the map around its central pivot, as Urbano Monte intended.

Urbano Monte's Planisphere uses a north polar azimuthal projection. This projection places the North Pole at the center of the map. Modern users, more accustomed to Google Maps, are used to north being at the top of the map and might struggle with this projection. Luckily for them Visionscarto has used the map tiles from the David Rumsey interactive map to create a tool for viewing Urbano Monte's Planisphere using different map projections.

Urbano Monte World Map Reprojections. includes 21 different map projections. It even includes everyone's favorite Mercator projection, which means you can make direct comparisons with Google Maps if you so wish.
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