Tagged: 19th century

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Mapping Japan: Bruno Hassenstein’s Map of the “Surroundings of Tokyo Bay and of the Volcano Fuji-No-Yama” (1879)

In 1879, the scientific journal Dr. A. Petermann’s Mittheilungen aus Justus Perthes’ Geographischer Anstalt (PGM) presented its readers with a detailed map of the Tokyo Bay area and Mount Fuji, offering more geographical information than other European maps of this region. This map, entitled The Surroundings of Tokyo Bay and of the Volcano Fuji-No-Yama (fig. 1), was the work of...

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Emphasising the Unknown. The Emergence of Blank Spaces on 19th-century Maps of Africa

European exploration of Africa in the 19th century was based on the assumption that only little was known about the interior of the continent. For decades, geographical societies, cartographers, travellers and others repeatedly emphasised that the maps consisted of little more than just blank spaces which should be filled out in order to open up new trade opportunities, extend political...

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Milash as a Border-Marking Concept in the Setting of the Geohistory of Northern Ethiopia: The Case of Mereb-Milash

Northern Abyssinia (northern Ethiopia) is home to the ancient Aksumite Kingdom. Although its capital was in Aksum, the cultural boundaries of the kingdom extended as far as the modern state of Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula. According to Ethiopian and Eritrean sources, local borders were formulated using indigenous techniques to separate autonomous and semi-autonomous provinces. Borders that fall under this...

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Unveiling Map Making: A Cartographer’s Account

On Friday, May 4, 1906, Bruno Domann left his desk at the Perthes publishing house in Gotha carrying travel accounts, maps and instruments. However, he did not take the materials home in order to finish maps for the new printing run of the Stieler’s Hand-Atlas or Petermann’s Geographische Mittheilungen. Domann was on his way to the inn Zum Schützen, where...

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Perthes and Heinrich Barth: Publishing (as) a German Success Story – Part II

One of the most important legacies of August Petermann was undoubtedly his founding and editorship of the Mittheilungen aus Justus Perthes’ Geographischer Anstalt (later Petermann’s Geographische Mittheilungen, or PGM) in 1855, a scientific and cartographical journal that was widely received by expert communities as well as by an interested general public. Given its wide distribution and general acclaim, the journal...

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Mapping a Fantasy: The Suez Canal Project in 1855

Part map and part perspective view, the “Vue panoramatique” depicts a geopolitical fantasy in the year 1855: the construction of the Suez Canal was to start only four years later, and it would take another decade until the first ships were seen crossing the desert. In 1855, the project of the Suez Canal was still the subject of fierce quarrels....

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