Cartography is the branch of geographical science that represents the territory and the phenomena that develop there. The cards can be of different kinds depending on the needs they have to satisfy. In ancient times they were divided schematically into nautical, political, topographical and thematic itineraries. The itineraries, the simplest ones, were used to represent itineraries of military and economic interest. Nautical charts, created with the aim of indicating the route to navigators, began to appear in the 3rd century AD, they spread starting from the 13th century and in the Middle Ages, when they took the name of pilot books, they were enriched with data and descriptions. The topographical maps represented portions of the territory, the morphology, the water courses and the inhabited centres; if they represented the coasts they could be called hydrographic. Finally, the thematic maps are created to represent one or more themes. Cartography presumably originated at the beginning of human history: with the evolution of civilization, man for his activities felt the need to represent the earth, in order to facilitate its movements for both economic and military purposes and, therefore cartographic sketches can be considered primitive man's attempts to fix the position of his home, or the itineraries he followed in transfers, through signs which, imprinted on different types of materials, constitute the graphic expression of the idea that our progenitors they had from the surrounding world. It is believed that the oldest known cartographic representations are those impressed on some Babylonian tablets containing maps dating back more than 3,000 years. That civilization had to make widespread use of the representation of the territory and for a long time, in fact, in another clay tablet dating back to the seventh century BC. C. a representation of the Earth is engraved, seen as a circle surrounded by the Ocean. Also in Italy the representations of the territory have been known since prehistoric times; the first of which we have news seem to be some petroglyphs present in Bedolina (Val Camonica), dated to the 2nd millennium BC. C., which are interpreted as a map with parcels of land and property boundaries. Already around 2000 a. C. in the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt, the land surveying had become an established profession that made use of the support of cartographic tools: we can get an idea of the maps drawn by Egyptian land surveyors around 1000 BC. C. observing the Campi dei morti, in which the conception that that people had of life in the afterlife is represented, with depictions of plots surrounded by water and crossed by canals. Even the ancient Chinese, Greeks and Romans strove to represent the relief of the land such as mountains and hills by means of graphic signs. The Romans were currently using maps for cadastral and fiscal purposes; also having to take care of the efficiency of the connection systems in the vast empire, they felt the need to trace itineraries by land and by sea. For this reason they put a lot of effort into creating papers suitable for practical use which, with the progress of knowledge, became gradually more complex. From one of these cards, drawn around 280 AD. C. and representing the entire Roman Empire, derives the medieval copy known as Tabula Peutingeriana. But the need to represent routes and itineraries was also felt by distant peoples. the red Indians of North America, for example, drew paths on birch barks from which it was possible to obtain indications suitable for reconstructing the road to follow in their movements. In the western Pacific, on the other hand, the inhabitants of the Marshall Islands managed to make rudimentary nautical charts by depicting the directions of the waves in the various seasons with wooden sticks and shells. As a curiosity it can be remembered that, in the first half of the sixteenth century, 1519 and 1521 the conquest of Mexico by the Spanish Hernán. Cortés was greatly facilitated by Aztec maps painted on fabric, on which the main roads were represented. Finally in Japan, in 1621, a survey was carried out aimed at drawing up pictorial maps of the great Tökaidö artery from Edo to Kyötö.
The cartographic representations performed in antiquity were therefore numerous, but for the use of scientific methods we had to wait for the Greek civilization. The Greeks, like great navigators, had the need to represent overseas territories and to plot routes; they were therefore the first to attempt to identify the shape of the earth and calculate its dimensions. Greek astronomers, geographers, philosophers and mathematicians competed in the search for scientific systems that would allow the creation of precise representations of the earth in which to report data, news and indications collected by travelers and sailors. According to Herodotus, Anaximander, a pupil of Thales (half of the 6th century BC), must be attributed the first drawing of the earth of which we have news. At the end of the same century there should be a another card of the same type made by Hecataeus of Miletus. About three centuries later, around 300 BC, Dicaearchus of Messina created a map based on a latitudinal line that ran through the center of the Mediterranean; since, apparently, a vertical, i.e. longitudinal line was also drawn on it, this is considered to be the first known attempt at a graticule. Another famous cartographer of antiquity was Eratosthenes (276-196 BC) who created a map of the then known world which included, in addition to the Mediterranean area, India to the east and Ethiopia to the south. In the first century BC the Greek geographer Strabo (before 60 BC-perhaps 20 AD) wrote Geography, a large work in 17 books, in which he describes the vast regions he visited in his numerous travels throughout the then known world. On the basis of what Claudius Ptolemy (100-178 AD), a very famous astronomer, mathematician and geographer, reports, Myron of Tire (120 AD) created on a map, now lost, a horizontal cylindrical projection of the Earth known at the time, with vertical parallel lines and horizontal (corresponding to longitude and latitude), measured in degrees. According to Ptolemy's description, the part of the land represented extended from West to East for 225° and included Europe and a large part of Asia; precisely starting from the work of Myron, Ptolemy devised the equidistant and homeotheric conical projection. But his name is above all linked to the geocentric theory, re-proposed in the work known as the Almagest, a title of Arabic derivation with which his mathematical syntax is commonly indicated: in this work the scholar collected the astronomical concepts known at the time, including those of Hipparchus and Aristotle, which were already at least two centuries old and placed the earth at the center of the universe and the sun, the planets and the stars, around it. The geocentric system, known as Ptolemaic, prevailed for almost fourteen centuries until it was supplanted by the heliocentric system of Copernicus. Even the latter, however, was not entirely new having already been hypothesized by Aristarchus of Samos in the II-III century BC and, perhaps earlier, also by Heraclitus of Ponto, a disciple of Plato. Ptolemy was the founder of plane and spherical trigonometry, carried out research in all fields of science and also composed numerous works, several of which have been lost. Geography is well known, or rather Geographic introduction, a work in eight books where he collected the geographical knowledge reached up to his time and provided data, such as the determination of the coordinates or the construction of the grid, for the creation of cartographic works. In this work, cited from various sources, he gave the basics of geography and chorography, with measurements of the earth, lists of localities, borders of countries, climatic data, length of days; however, the doubt remains whether or not it was accompanied by papers. Many scholars, in fact, believe that Ptolemy never directly made maps and instead provided only enough data to draw them, while according to others, he also made numerous cartographic representations that have not come down to us. In the early Middle Ages also cartography, like other sciences, suffered the reflections of the decadence of scientific research, Ptolemaic geography was completely ignored and conceptions totally devoid of scientific foundation spread; four centuries after Ptolemy, the recession of knowledge on the subject was so deep that Cosmas Indicopleuste, a navigator who had reached India and Ceylon, and for this was called "Indian navigator", between 535 and 547 gave a representation of the universe similar to a tabernacle, with the rectangular earth, surrounded by the oceans and surmounted to the north by a very high mountain which, at night, hid the sun. Furthermore, at the time there was a widespread representation of the earth in a T shape with the seas drawn as great channels between Europe, Africa and Asia. At the beginning of the second millennium, however, with the new development of commerce and navigation, the need arose to create cartographic documents for practical use more responsive to reality. But while in the Christian world imaginary concepts influenced by religious convictions prevailed over rational systems, there was a notable development of studies in the Islamic world. It is no coincidence that in the 12th century it was an Arab, Abu Abdullah Ibn Mhammad, better known as Edrisi or al-Idrisi (1099 - 1165 circa), who made a significant contribution to the development of cartography. Born in Ceuta, he studied in Cordoba, then devoted himself to travel visiting the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa and Asia Minor. A man of great culture, in 1138 he was received in Palermo at the court of King Roger II, who gave him the task of drawing up a work that described the known world on the basis of certain data, collected during his travels, or with the help of other travelers and scholars. The work lasted for about 15 years and in 1154 the Nurhat al-mushtaq fì ikhtraq al-afaq, i.e. Leisure for those who love to travel the regions, was completed. This work, also known as The Book of Roger, is accompanied by the Charta Rugeriana, a collection of 70 maps on silk paper, considered the most important in medieval geography. It was accompanied by an engraving reproducing the same card on a silver disc weighing 150 kilograms. With the discovery of the compass, a new type of approach to cartographic representation was imposed: thanks to the Genoese and Venetian travellers, who went as far as the interior of Asia and Africa, and to the Spanish and Portuguese who explored the Americas and the distant lands of the Pacific, cartographic records came to represent ever larger portions of the globe. After the discovery of America the cartographers turned their attention mainly to the Atlantic coasts; not even the Italian nautical cartography and in particular the Genoese one was no exception. With Humanism and the rediscovery of classical culture, interest in the texts of Ptolemy revived, whose papers were re-proposed. In the fifteenth century Geography was revived and republished and was so successful that in a few decades the first re-edition was followed by seven more. The editio princeps of the Ptolemaic work, in the Latin version by Iacopo Angelo de Scarperia, was published, but without maps, on 13 September 1475 in Vicenza by Hermann Liechtenstein. Subsequently, the following editions were published: - 1478 edition: published in Bologna in the atlas Claudius Ptolomaeus Cosmographia Trad. Jacubus Angelus. [Precedes] Jacubus Angelus, and is considered the oldest edition accompanied by papers; the latter derive from the first known copper engraving. The printing was done by Domenico de Lapi while the cards made with engravings were made by Taddeio Crivelli, an illuminator and painter, born in Mantua or Milan between 1420 and 1430, who worked for several years in Bologna and died before the 1479;- edition of 1478, printed in Rome by Arnold Buckinck, with translation from the Greek by Jacobus Angelus, edited by Domizio Calderini;- edition of 1480, printed in Florence by Nicolò Todescho. The text is by Francesco Berlinghieri who reworked the original text in Italian verse; - 1482 edition printed in Ulm by Lenhart Holle edited by Nicolaus Germanus; - 1486 edition printed in Ulm by Johann Reger, with translation by Jacobus Angelus, in edited by Nicolaus Germanus;
- 1490 edition printed in Rome by Pietro della Torre with translation by Jacobus Angelus. With the great geographical discoveries and the circumnavigation of the globe, cartographic elaborations multiplied and it became necessary to represent the whole globe. Significant works were carried out in this field by Juan de la Cosa in 1500, by Pedro and Jorge Reinel in 1505 and by Sebastiano Caboto who made the globes in 1544. The activity of the great cartographer Sebastiano Munster (1489 -1552), a German Franciscan scholar who later became a Protestant, who was a humanist, cosmographer, geographer and theologian, dates back to between the 15th and 16th centuries. He published a large number of works, among which 142 geographical maps have survived. In 1536 he published the Mappa Europae, in 1538 the Rhetia and in 1540 he edited a ' edition of Ptolemy's Geography and the works of the Latin geographers Mela and Solino. His major work is the Cosmographia Universalis, published in Basel in 1544, in six volumes and accompanied by 471 woodcuts and 26 papers. More than fifty editions of this monumental work, which deals with various subjects, some of which related to natural phenomena, were published in a century, in various languages. The 1550 one, in Latin, includes a map of Sardinia, a map of the city of Cagliari and the monograph Sardiniae brevis historia descriptio by Sigismondo Arquer (1523 - 1571). The Arquer, who graduated in law in Pisa in 1547 and, subsequently, in theology at the University of Siena, was a lawyer from Cagliari, as well as a historian and theologian. Very young he created a map of Sardinia and a map of Cagliari which accompanied the monograph Sardiniae brevis historia descriptio. Known as a great scholar also in Spain, in 1554 he was appointed tax lawyer of Sardinia, but, despite belonging to a powerful family, his enemies managed to have him accused of Lutheranism due to his collaboration with Munster and to have him arrested for the first time in 1556 Acquitted, he was arrested again in 1563, tortured and finally, in 1571, burned at the stake. Another important geographer was the Dutch Gerard Kremer, better known as Mercator, (1512-1594), considered the father of modern scientific cartography because he applied scientific methods to cartographic reproductions, revolutionizing the sector. He was a surveyor and builder of astrolabes who started the cartographer in 1537, with the creation of a map of Palestine. The following year he built a globe and in 1540 a map of Flanders in four sheets. In 1541 the emperor Charles V commissioned him a terrestrial globe and in 1551 he created a celestial globe map of the universe. Subsequently he moved to Duisburg where, in 1554, he represented Europe in 15 sheets. In 1564 he drew up the map of the British Isles in eight sheets and in 1569 the planisphere ad usum navigantium in 18 sheets. This last work was created using the isogonal cylindrical projection at increasing latitudes, a system that made him famous and which still bears his name today. The method, or Mercator's projection, is based on the conformal cylindrical projection and is still used today in rhumb navigation, which will be mentioned later. Mercator was also the author of philosophical and literary works and had the merit of rearranging the cartographic material then known. His greatest work is the Atlas sive cosmographicae meditationes de fabrica mundi et fabricati figura, which required years of work; the first part was published in 1584, with 61 maps of central Europe and 23 maps of Italy, Slavonia and Greece, while a third part was published posthumously, in 1595, by his son Rumold. From the complete work, which saw the light in 1602 by his sons Rumold and Arnold and had a very wide diffusion, derives the term "atlas" currently used. Mercator built his maps with a careful research of the known material and extensively used the works of the cartographers of the time, especially the Italian ones. In 1605 the edition of Mercator's atlas edited by the Dutch cartographer Joost De Hondt, also known as Hondius (1563 - 1611), saw the light, who reused the original copper plates and printed numerous subsequent editions. Hondius, who began his activity as a builder of mathematical instruments, globes and geographical maps, became not only a printer but also a great cartographer; he published, among other works, also the Atlas Minor, a reduced-scale edition of Mercator's work. After his death, his sons Jodocus and Henry and son-in-law Johannes Jansson continued his work. The latter, better known as Johannes Janssoni (1588 -1664), was a publisher, engraver and cartographer. He began his activity in 1617 with the publication of a ' edition of Ptolemy's Geography; in 1633 he published a new edition of Mercator's Atlas in two volumes, followed in 1638 by the Atlas Novus, and in 1647 a six-volume edition with a Maritime Atlas and an Atlas of the Ancient World. In 1657 he edited an edition of the Novus Atlas sive Theatrum Orbis in 6 books. In 1657 he published the Theatrum exhibens illustriores civitates in 8 volumes. The Atlas contractus, sive Atlantis majoris compendium saw the light only after his death, in 1666. At the time, there were also many cartographers in Italy; in the 16th-17th century the illustrious family of cartographers Maggiolo (or de Maiolo) worked in Genoa, whose ancestor was Viscount Maggiolo, originally from Rapallo, but residing in Naples. In 1519 he was recalled to Genoa where, from that year, was the depositary of the cartographic monopoly with official appointment of the Republic. The Maggiolos' activity as cartographers ended towards the middle of the 17th century. Viscount Maggiolo was succeeded by Giovanni Alfonso I (second half of the 16th century), Cornelius I (late 16th century and early 17th century), his sons, Niccolò and Giovanni Antonio II (first half of the 17th century) and finally Cornelius II (mid of the seventeenth century). The Viscount's second son was Giacomo Maggiolo, author of the 1563 map, which stands out for the precision of the drawing of the coasts of northern Europe. In 1567 he created a beautiful nautical chart that represented Sardinia, Corsica and the northern Tyrrhenian coasts. In the second half of the 16th century, Tomaso Porcacchi (1530-1585), a humanist, also enjoyed great prestige as a geographer in Italy. who in Venice, where he moved in 1559, supervised, among other things, the printing of a series of Greek historians. But he was also a notable connoisseur of geography and created, with engravings by Gerolamo Porro, an Isolario which saw the light in 1572 and was the subject of numerous editions. The activity of Fabio Licinio (1520-1565), son of the painter Rigo and brother of Giulio, also a painter, dates back to the beginning of the 16th century. He was a well-known engraver and created numerous works for Giacomo Gastaldi (1500-1566), considered the greatest Italian cartographer of the sixteenth century, also well known abroad. Gastaldi worked mainly in Venice, where in 1546 he created the Danubian maps and the oval planisphere, then a map of Asia in three sheets between 1559 and 1561. His major work was the map of Italy of 1561, contained in work Drawing of the modern geography of Italy. Another famous cartographer was Egnazio Danti (1536 - 1586), who held the position of Vatican cosmographer and was commissioned by Cosimo de Medici to paint the geographical maps in the cloakroom of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. Much better known, however, is the Flemish Abramo Ortelio (1527 - 1598), better known as Ortelius, who was a cartographer, cosmographer and bibliophile. He made numerous journeys and in 1564 published a map of the world in eight sheets called Typus orbis terrarum. In 1570 he published Theatrum orbis terrarum, an atlas with 53 plates engraved in copper by Frans Hogenberg which contained 70 papers by different authors. This is the first atlas of geographical maps created in a uniform way, with data derived from the knowledge and results of the latest explorations. It was very widely circulated and between 1570 and 1612 about thirty editions were printed in seven different languages. The works were always enriched with new maps and, with the attached Catalogus geographorum, a collection of 167 cartographic documents was formed, drawn up by 183 different authors. In the first half of the 17th century, cartography experienced a moment of considerable expansion in Europe, above all due to the diffusion of cartographic-descriptive works created under the patronage of the King, such as the atlases by Le Clerc (with various editions between 1619 and 1632), by Melchiorre Tavernier (reedited between 1632 and 1637) by Tassin, Nicolás Nicolai or Guillaume Sanson. Notoriously the nature of these works was greatly conditioned by the state sponsorship of its authors who created the so-called geography of the king which was centered on the exaltation of his power and on the extension of the territories on which he could exercise it. However, with the diffusion of cartographic works, unofficial cartographers also began to spread, at the beginning, as in England, with a much more provincial character, linked mainly to the dissemination of insufficiently updated knowledge, but subsequently with increasingly important works and the dissemination of travel guides and itineraries. In Germany the cartographer Georg Braun, also known as Georgius (1541 - 1622), author of the Civitates orbis terrarum, enjoyed considerable prestige. a collection of perspective plans and views of the major cities of the then known world. The plates were printed based on copper engravings made by Franz Hogenberg. The work, published for the first time in Cologne in 1572, in Latin, was subsequently reprinted in German and French and was also very successful due to the quality of the engravings. Between the 16th and 17th centuries, the Italian cartographer Giovanni Antonio Magini, born in Padua in 1555 and died in Bologna in 1617, also enjoyed wide fame. A scientist of great prestige, on the death of Egnazio Danti he was preferred to Galileo (whose theories) as professor of mathematics at the University of Bologna. in 1588 Magini was preferred, as rigorous scholar as he was, he also carried out long and profound research in the cartographic sector and in 1596 he published Ptolemy's Geography enriched by 37 new maps drawn up by him; the latter gave a new imprint to the work, transforming it into a modern atlas. In 1608 he published a large one entitled "Italia Nuova" .. In 1608 he published Italia Nuova, a map of Italy in six plates. Magini began work on creating an atlas of Italy, made up of maps updated on the basis of his studies and the data provided by the major cartographers of the time, whose collaboration he had requested. When he died in 1617, the work was not finished, but saw the light in 1620 under the care of his son Fabio. The maps of his atlas were generally more advanced than those widespread in that period, that of Sardinia, on the other hand, which he didn't know, was based on old data and appeared very old-fashioned when compared to others widely used at the time. In fact, he did not have direct knowledge of the island and had to rely on the information provided to him by Rocco Capellino, the architect who had overseen the reorganization of the Sardinian coastal defences. Capellino had stayed in Sardinia for a long time, and knew the area, but did not have the necessary cartographic techniques; perhaps the errors in the representation of the island are attributable to this, which in the nautical charts of the time had already been largely overcome. Another illustrious cartographer is the Dutch Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638), prolific producer of maps also known as Guilelmus Caesius or Guilelmus Jansonius; he was also a geographer and, for a time, cartographer of the East India Company. He approached cartography at the age of 20 when, in Denmark, he learned the art of building mathematical instruments, atlases and globes under the guidance of the Danish astronomer Tyge or Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), who also taught him astronomy and who was Kepler's teacher. After some years he returned to Amsterdam, where, in 1605, he published the Nova universi terrarum orbis mappa, a map of the known world in 18 sheets. He concentrated on cartographic production by carrying out numerous works: in 1619 he published the Theatrum Mundi; in 1631, also using 103 new maps, he created the Appendix Theatri A. Orteli et Atlantis G. Mercatoris Continens Tabulas Geographicas Diversorum Orbis Regionum Nunc Primum Editas Cum Descritionibus, which is configured as a completion of the atlases of the Ortelius and Mercator. In 1635 he published, in three volumes, the Theatrum orbis terrarum sive Atlas novus which was republished in numerous editions, even after his death, by his son Joannes Joan Blaeu (1596 -1673). The latter, together with the Dutch geographer and cartographer and his brother Cornelio, continued the work of his father and was the author of a large number of maps, among which we recall the most impressive of which was Among his other works we recall the re-edition of the Father Willem's atlas, the publication of the Theatrum civitatum nec non admirandorum Neapolis et Siciliae and the Nova et accuratissima totius terrarum orbis tabula made up a collection of 20 papers. Also well known was Melchiorre Tavernier (1564-1644), member of a family of cartographers who worked in France in the first decades of the seventeenth century. He was hydrographer, engraver and typographer of the King for geographical maps and achieved great fame for the publication of the map of the postal roads of France, which was reproduced several times until the end of the century. Tavernier commissioned the cartographic document from Nicola Sanson and he proceeded with its publication, warning the buyers that he would give the stamp subsequent editions on a larger or smaller scale. He published the works: In 1632 he published the Carte Ceographique des Postes qui traversent la France (republished in 1658 by N. Sanson ), in 1634 the Theater Geographique du Royaume de France and between 1640 and 42 the Description de La Carte Generale de All the worlds. He published numerous works by other cartographers, such as Jansson, Hondius, Danckerts, N. Sanson, N. Tassin and P. Bertius. He also edited an atlas under the same title J. Le Clerc Theater Geographique using many of Le Clerc's maps but adding others from different sources. This cartographer is not to be confused with his namesake nephew (1594-1665) who made maps for Nicola Sanson. He became popular for the fine cutting of the engraving and the bright coloring of documents. The works of Philipp Cluver, or Philippus Cluverii Cluverius (1580-1623), a German humanist and geographer who traveled to the Germanic countries, France, England and Italy, mainly for the study of antiquities, date back to the beginning of the 17th century. He gave a particular approach to cartography, because he inserted historical themes into his works and for this reason he is considered the initiator of historical geography. In 1619 he published Italia antiqua item Sardinia et Corsica. After his death, in 1624, the atlas Italia Antiqua saw the light and, subsequently, the work Introductio in universam geographiam. In the 17th century, Nicola Sanson (1600-1667), a great geographer and cartographer considered the founder of cartography in France, worked in France. Using a projection named after him, he managed to produce a considerable number of maps, but generally he proposed pre-existing works, especially by Dutch cartographers, and did not pay much attention to the accuracy of the representations. His first work, entitled Galliae antiquae descriptio geographica, dates back to 1627. In 1637 an atlas in 15 maps on the Roman empire saw the light and, about ten years later, the Great Map of Italy. In 1642 he was awarded by King Louis XIII the coveted title of "Ordinary Geographer of the King". In 1644 he produced the map of France in 10 sheets, in 1652 the map of Asia in 14 sheets, in 1656 that of Africa in 19 sheets. In 1658 he published the monumental work in 11 volumes Atlas Maior sive Cosmographia Blaviana, qua solum, coelum accuratissime describuntur. The atlas, certainly one of the largest among those published to date, came to collect 593 maps and 3000 pages of text. Sanson's works were taken up in various other works and some of his papers are reproduced in the Italian atlas Mercurio Geografico, published in the 17th century in Rome by Giov. Giacomo De Rossi, of which six editions are known. In the seventeenth century knowledge in the field of cartography continued to grow and this science had a notable expansion: the development of scientific knowledge was added to the new data that arrived in Europe with the succession of geographical discoveries. Holland, and Amsterdam in particular, was then a center of global importance in cartography due to the constant contribution of the East India Companies (VOC) and West India Companies (WIC) which, in order to have up-to-date documents, spared no expense. In France the cartographic-descriptive works created under the patronage of the King spread considerably, such as the atlases by Le Clerc (with various editions between 1619 and 1632), by Melchiorre Tavernier (re-edited between 1632 and 1637) by Tassin, Nicolás Nicolai or Guillaume Sanson. Notoriously the nature of these works was greatly conditioned by the state patronage of its authors who created the so-called geography of the King, which was often aimed at exalting his power through the publicity of data on the territory and the number of subjects on which ones could do it. However, with the diffusion of cartographic works, unofficial cartographers also began to spread, at the beginning, as in England, with a much more provincial character, linked mainly to the dissemination of insufficiently updated knowledge, but subsequently with increasingly important works and the dissemination of travel guides and itineraries. Of particular importance for the accuracy of representations, for example, the triangulation system used by the Dutch mathematician Willebrord Snall van Royen, better known under the humanistic name of Willerbrordus Snellius (1580, or perhaps 1591,- 1626), turned out to be. This scholar developed various applications of mathematics to cartography; in particular he carried out the first attempt for the trigonometric determination of the arc of the meridian, and studied the curve which cuts the terrestrial meridians under a constant angle, to which he gave the name of rhumb line. Between the seventeenth and eighteenth century Christoph Weigel (1654 - 1725) or Weigelii Christophori worked in Germany, a German cartographer and engraver who drafted and published several works as editor. In 1712 he created the Atlas Scolasticus; in 1720, in collaboration with JD Koehler, he published the Orbis antiquus or Descriptio orbis antiqui. In the same year he published the atlas Orbis terrarum veteribus cogniti, an important work for Sardinia, because it also includes the Insularum Corsicae Sardiniae Melitae accuracy descriptio ex mente veterum geographorum. In the same period, also in Germany, Gabriel Bodenehr (1664 - 1750), a geographer and cartographer, son of the Augsburg cartographer Hans Georg Bodenehr, author of the Atlas Curieux, was active. Gabiel Bodenehr, in addition to continuing his father's work, in 1715 published the Carta d'Italia and in 1720 the work Curioses Staats und Kriegs Theatrum in Italien. In Italy between the end of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth century the work of the Ravenna friar Vincenzo Coronelli (1650-1718), a mathematics and geography scholar who was also a great cartographer and cosmographer, was of considerable importance. In 1681 he moved to Paris where he was able to deepen his knowledge and in 1683 he built, commissioned by Louis XIV, the enormous Globes of Marly, large globes with a diameter of 4 meters. Returning to Venice, in 1685 he was appointed cosmographer of the Serenissima and founded the Accademia degli Argonauti, considered the oldest geographical society in the world. His works were numerous: in 1690 he published the Atlante Veneto, in 1694 the Corso Geografico, then between 1696 and 1698 the Isolario in two volumes, in 1706 the Theater of War and in 1707 the Universal Chronology. His last work was to be the Universal Library, a large encyclopaedia which unfortunately remained unfinished. In the eighteenth century, with the development of science and the creation of new and more sophisticated optical instruments, they imposed new techniques that allowed increasingly precise surveys and therefore the drawing up of maps that represented the territory with greater precision. In that century, attention was paid to cartography: new projections were constructed and research was also carried out for the identification of systems capable of achieving a more accurate representation of the relief. Among the scholars who distinguished themselves for the creation of new systems we remember Guillome Delisle (1675-1726), who used a type of perspective projection, which takes his name, in which the parallels are represented with arcs of circles and the meridians with converging lines. Delisle in 1700 created a planisphere and, subsequently, 34 updated maps of Europe and non-European countries. Another cartographer, the Frenchman Rigobert Bonne (1727-1796), created numerous maps and various atlases and gave his name to the pseudo-conical projection also used to create the map of France. A decisive contribution continued to be made by mathematicians such as JH Lambert (1728-1777), a scholar of French origin active above all in Germany, who formulated an equivalent horizontal projection, used for the representation of vast portions of the globe. Particular attention also deserves the cartographer Cesare Francesco Cassini (1714-1784), a member of a large family of astronomers and geodesists of Italian origin, whose progenitor was Giandomenico Cassini (1625-1712). The latter, after having been a professor in Bologna, moved to France in 1669, becoming an academic and director of the Paris Observatory. Between 1744 and 1815, his nephew, Cesare Francesco, created the topographic map of the Kingdom of France in 182 sheets at a scale of 1:86.400.
Finally, in the 19th century, the great cartographic institutes were born and began to create maps using increasingly advanced systems. Modern technology has greatly expanded the possibilities of cartography and, especially from the Second World War onwards, with aerial surveys that allow vast parts of the territory to be represented with precision and with the birth of photogrammetry, cartographic techniques have evolved enormously. The development of electronic calculators, the electronic measurement of distances by means of laser and light beams, and the use of computers in drawing maps, together with ever more sophisticated software, have allowed a very rapid evolution. For example, some systems based on use of mosaics of specially treated aerial photographs are used to construct orthophotomaps, which can complement or replace conventional topographic maps. The system most used today for the creation of topographic maps is the aerial photogrammetric survey, for which an airplane is used which flies in a straight line, at constant altitude and speed, and takes a series of photographs at predefined time intervals on a portion of the territory by acquiring territorial data from different angles. This creates a strip formed by images that reproduce a portion of land together with a part of that shot with the previous shot, so as to allow for a precise linking. With a series of parallel strips, the portion of territory concerned is revealed. We then move on to the photo-restitution phase, in which the images are reworked using a special apparatus, proceeding with their projection after adequate correction of the roughness of the terrain. The image data is completed by the cartographer with the insertion of other useful elements for the creation of a complete map, such as contour lines, elevations, toponyms or other data taken directly from the ground. The processed document is then transferred to the printers for transfer to paper. A real revolution has been brought about by the ERTS satellites (Earth Resource Technology Satellites), equipped with equipment for remote sensing, sensitive to portions of the electromagnetic spectrum invisible to the human eye. The typology, the quality and coloring of the images depend on the acquisition techniques and on the choice of the wavelength capable of bringing out a particular phenomenon. The information is transmitted to the ground in special stations where, using very sophisticated programs, it is decoded and transformed into legible images. In this way, documents are obtained that allow highly precise cartographic elaborations even for almost inaccessible areas. Generally these devices operate in the infrared because in this way they can capture the energy emitted by the different types of materials present on the surface, such as rocks, soil, vegetation, bodies of water, buildings, infrastructures and translate it into photographs or images that allow the creation of thematic maps. Above our heads there is a large number of satellites which cover regular orbits and survey a portion of the territory of variable size every day; Landstats, for example, detect a square of km 185x185. The information transmitted by the satellites is not generally used for highly detailed maps but, generally, for large-scale drawings.