Talk:Waldseemüller map

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How to Type the letter ü in Waldseemüller ?[edit]

If you want to use "ü" instead of "u" in a Waldseemüller, then use these keyboard stroke / keys :

Press "W", "a", "l", "d", "s", "e", "e", "m". Then press ...

Alt + 0252 (it means, first press the "Alt" (Alternative/Alternate) key in your keyboard, and keep it pressing with your left hand, then press the digits 0 2 5 2 one by one, in the right-side numeric keypad).

Press "l", "l", "e", "r".

Then you will get Waldseemüller. To make it a linkable name (to goto this article,) use two third brackets at the beginning and end of the name, like this '''Waldseemüller map''', then you will get linkable Waldseemüller map.

If you want to link to his (English) article through URL, then use below code ...


You may also see Windows Alt keycodes for other letters.

~ Tarikash.

As this is an English Wikipedia, I think the full title of map, "Universalis cosmographia secundum Ptholomaei traditionem et Americi Vespucii aliorumque lustrationes" should be translated and added after this in ().--Revth (talk) 02:43, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

On the Nunn Edit[edit]

I reverted this contribution from Kattigara:

The Library of Congress asserts in its brochure, Exploring the Early Americas: The Jay I. Kislak Collection at the Library of Congress, (Washington, DC, 2008,) that the Martin Waldseemüller’s 1507 map was “the first map, printed or manuscript, to depict clearly a separate Western Hemisphere, with the Pacific Ocean as a separate ocean”. On the contrary, it is obvious, when the map is compared with Waldseemüller’s globe gores of the same date, that the sea to the west of the notional American west coast is the Oceanus Occidentalis, the Western or Atlantic Ocean, and where it merges with the Oceanus Orientalis is smudged by the latitude staff on the gores, so that it does not “depict clearly a separate Western Hemisphere”. It is clear from this that Waldseemueller held to the Columban view that America, the Novus Mundus, or New World, was an island in the Atlantic (Western Ocean). Also, Waldseemüller stretches the Eurasian land mass over 240º of longitude, as opposed to an actual ±115º, leaving only 40º for the longitudinal distance between the western coast of Peru/America and India Superior as opposed to an actual ±90º between Peru and the east coast of the Korea. This was noted by George E. Nunn in 1927: he pointed out that Christopher Columbus adopted the calculation of the ancient geographer Marinus of Tyre for the distance from Cape St. Vincent on the west coast of Portugal to Cattigara on the east coast of Asia ofs 225 degrees, while according to Claudius Ptolemy the same distance was 180 degrees. In accordance with this calculation, Waldseemüller’s world map of 1507 employs the longitude of Ptolemy from Cape St. Vincent eastward to Cattigara, but the longitude calculation of Marinus and Columbus is employed for the space between Cape St. Vincent westward to Cattigara. This dual calculation of longitude represents the eastern coast of Asia twice: once in accordance with Ptolemy’s longitudes to show it as Martin Behaim had done on his 1492 globe; and again in accordance with Columbus’ longitudes to show his and the other Spanish navigators’ discoveries across the Western Ocean. The western coasts of the trans-Atlantic lands discovered by the Spanish are simply described by Waldseemueller as Incognita, with a conjectural sea beyond, making these lands apparently a distinct continent. America’s (that is, South America’s) status as a separate island or a part of Asia, specifically, the peninsula of India Superior upon which Cattigara was situated, is left unresolved. As Nunn said in 1927, “This was a very plausible way of presenting a problem at the time insoluble”.[1] For a discussion of the early 16th century concept of South America as a peninsula of Asia, see George E. Nunn, The Columbus and Magellan Concepts of South American Geography, Glenside, the author, 1932, pp.12-13, 49-51. It is true that Waldseemüller’s map “recognized the newly found American landmass”, but it was very unclear as to just what that landmass represented. Comments like the one in the brochure are made from the standpoint of later geographical knowledge, and show a lack of understanding of what the map represented to people in 1507. So much was still unknown, as Waldseemüller honestly represented by leaving undefined the west coast of Parias and the adjoining Terra Ulterius Incognita: whether it was part of Asia, as Columbus believed and as Waldseemueller showed on his 1516 Carta Marina, or not.

There is important information in this edit, but it cannot be presented this way. As written, it is rhetorical and not a neutral presentation of primary sources. Nunn's views should be presented in an encyclopædic way, without editorializing. Strebe (talk) 00:46, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

On Continental Labels[edit]

I am reverting recent edits noting continental labels for two reasons. First, the context of the paragraphs they were inserted into does not encompass toponyms other than "America". Readers and scholars would consider the information to be a dilution. Second, it is misleading to characterize the entire northern landmass as labeled with terra incognita when presumably the labels refer only to the western regions of the northern continent. Thirdly, Parias probably only refers to what is now Central America, not the entire northern continent (though Waldseemüller's intent is not clear, and in any case any such controversy seems unimportant to the point of the paragraphs as well as the article). Strebe (talk) 23:48, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Drafted on a modification of 'Ptolemy's second projection'??[edit]

The map is described in the lead as drawn using 'Ptolemy's second projection' . . what is this? Or is there a misunderstanding here? - a mistranslation of the titling at the bottom of the map, "UNIVERSALIS COSMOGRAPHIA SECUNDUM PTHOLOMAEI TRADITIONEM .."? The force of the words is something like "comprehensive cosmography using the technique of Ptolemy" - the "secundum" means "using" or "following / according to".

It's not a reference to any "second" projection technique, or doctrine / tradition.

And I've not been able to find any mention of a "second" Ptolemaic projection in the articles on Ptolemy, his Geography (or Geographia) or the History of Cartography. (The link to an article on Ancient Greek Geography redirects to a List of Graeco-Roman Geographers).

I did find a description of Ptolemy revising his figures .. is that what's meant? - but it doesn't involve any change of projection-system. That first article, on Ptolemy himself, describes Ptolemy as using Eratosthenes' figure of 700 stadia (for a Great-Circle degree) when writing his Syntaxis, but then switching to his own newly-calculated figure of 500 stadia for his later Geographia. (There's a discussion of sources of error, and particularly of a miscalculation by a factor of 5/6 due to refraction at the horizon, in the History of Geodesy article.)

--SquisherDa (talk) 05:08, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

A portrayal of Ptolemy’s second projection can be seen here. It appears on many 16th century maps such as this one. Snyder describes it in Flattening the Earth: 2000 Years of Map Projections. To be clear, the Waldseemüller map is an adaptation of the Ptolemy II projection, extended to show more of the globe. Strebe (talk) 05:52, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Latin title - translation![edit]

As this is an English Wikipedia, I think the full title of map, "Universalis cosmographia secundum Ptholomaei traditionem et Americi Vespucii aliorumque lustrationes" should be translated and added after this in ().--Revth (talk) 02:43, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Here are some thoughts . . but (1) (next step!) choosing among the alternatives, for each Latin phrase, to produce a fluent English title, is a bit of a challenge - and (2) there are probably established usages among historians and archivists specialising in the period, which I wouldn't know - and (3) there may be technical terms (eg cosmographia?) that may need special attention.

Latin text English meaning
Universalis Universal / inclusive / all-encompassing
cosmographia Cosmography / map / chart
secundum according to
Ptholomaei Ptolemy's
traditionem tradition / school / teaching / technique / method
et and / with
Americi Vespucii Americi Vespuci's
aliorumque and other peoples'
lustrationes travels / findings / discoveries

SquisherDa (talk) 19:32, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

The article provides a translation: “The Universal Cosmography according to the Tradition of Ptolemy and the Discoveries of Amerigo Vespucci and others”. Does that not suffice? I see that lustrationes is not represented in the translation, which is perhaps regrettable, but note that we must rely on published sources for a translation rather than coming up with one ourselves. Strebe (talk) 22:49, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
(Mmm, yes, I should have checked the article more closely! - ta.) But the translation provided is also unreferenced! - and isn't too accurate / convincing: as I read it, it translates lustrationes as "discoveries" (and I presume that's wrong?); and it plainly omits aliorumque, = "other people's" (which is actually rather unfortunate, in an article in an encyclopedia that is rightly so careful about sources!!). (Note: I've also added to my list-of-meanings, in the table above, for traditionem.) So, I guess we ought to try to find something better . . meanwhile, is worth a try, to see what Wikipedians themselves can achieve by way of translating the title? or is it pure diversion / loss of effort? SquisherDa (talk) 17:41, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
The article really needs to cite a source for the translation, so I have added that. I found it on the Library of Congress site. Obviously a better translation (if there is something wrong with the existing translation) from a scholarly source would be welcome. It would be foolish to put time into is as editors because any cited source (including the one I just added) would trump our WP:OR. Strebe (talk) 18:50, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Yep. Everything you say makes sense. And, I had the meaning of lustrationes wrong (now corrected) - which rather makes your point about WP:OR! And it means the translation provided looks a lot better. (Ignore what I said about aliorumque / "other people's" being omitted . . I think I Must Have Been Hurrying (or - I'm a bit new to all this, of course - I may have lost sight of something by overcrowding my screen).)
So, we should cite a source for a translation, rather than working one up ourselves. But we're not having the luck we'd like with this:
  • The title appearing at the foot of the map is "Universalis cosmographia secundum Ptholomaei traditionem et Americi Vespucii aliorumque lustrationes
  • (variation between alioru and aliorum, and between aliorumque and aliorum que is unimportant); and
  • the translation in the article is "The Universal Cosmography according to the Tradition of Ptolemy and the Discoveries of Amerigo Vespucci and others":
  • the reference we have at the moment is to Hébert, John (2003-09). "The Map That Named America". Library of Congress Information Bulletin. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2012-04-16.  Check date values in: |date= (help);
  • but the title as given there is different (at two points): "A drawing of the whole earth following the tradition of Ptolemy and the travels of Amerigo Vespucci and others" - specifically, A is a rather different claim from The!; and I gather drawing of the whole earth is really not at all the same thing as Universal Cosmography?; and arguably travels and discoveries again disagree in emphasis.
  • And the World Digital Library (listed as an external link) presents another translation: A Map of the Entire World According to the Traditional Method of Ptolemy and Corrected with Other Lands of Amerigo Vespucci . .
  • Library of Congress, again! - but what's that about "Corrected"?? and other "Lands"??
So as things stand we have one translation, within the article and looking pretty sound, referenced to a source which gives a slightly different translation; and we're listing an external link which gives another and really quite strange translation.
The basic trouble, I think, is that people who can read the Latin understand it and its nuances without trouble; and may or may not casually offer a "gloss" indicating the main meaning as it seems to them at the time; people that can't read the Latin are left choosing between various forms and phrases that weren't offered in the first place as authoritative / accurate translations. And we're stuck trying to cite materials whose authors weren't expecting anyone to do that.
We could go back to Plan A - ie revert the citation you've provided, and ignore that fact that we're including a translation without citing a source; or is Plan B better? write a short section in the article discussing the variant titles offered by the Library of Congress?SquisherDa (talk) 15:39, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
The right course is Plan C: Amend the article to match the translation in the LOC article. There is also nothing wrong with providing alternative, cited translations.
I’m skeptical of “…people who can read the Latin understand it and its nuances without trouble” because Latin isn’t a singe, codified language. By the time of the Renaissance, Latin had evolved quite a bit since Classical times, and not into a single Latin, but many Latins that varied by school tradition and field. Further, it wasn’t the first language of anyone, so not only are there problems on the reading side but also on the writing side. The difference between “a” and “the” is arbitrary because the original does not contain any article while English requires one. “Drawing of the whole earth” may indeed be synonymous with “Universal Cosmography” as well as, for example, “world map”. “Discoveries” versus “travels” again may be due to a distinction in English that doesn’t exist in the Latin, making the choice arbitrary rather than scholarly. Hence I am perfectly happy making the article’s quoted translation coincide with the one in the LOC article because I do not see any meaningful distinction between the two. Strebe (talk) 00:01, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
(re Plan C) "Amend to match the translation in" which LOC article?! - their Information Bulletin, or the item in their World Digital Library? (The WDL item is part of the Library's collection .. I'd think we would normally think of it as primary / authoritative, by comparison with the Library's Bulletin, for that reason; awkwardly, it's the Bulletin's translation that's better!)
We're seeing things pretty similarly, and I'm beginning to feel ready to edit the article. (I'm expecting to follow the article on the Cosmographiae Introductio, remarking in the citation that "Alternative translations have been proposed" - a sort of modified Plan B. (I suspect you think we disagree about people reading the Latin: but not really . . I was suggesting that a competent scholar will have a settled and clear view of what the Latin means - and rather overlook the fact that the rest of us won't (and most readers won't even get to first base) - and, for the reasons you explain, will hesitate to attempt to set her/his view into concrete as a formal translation.)
Can you help me re the term Cosmography? Something caught the corner of my eye lately, and left me with the sense that it has relevant and significant connotations; and it's plain that you know more about this than I do. The Cosmographiae Introductio article makes it pretty clear that (where context permits) describing a map as a "Cosmographia" will normally have conveyed that it was Ptolemaic in its conception. Can you tell me, is there any more to it than that? any technical implications (ie re the math of cartography)? or any notions / expectations? about the cartographer's aim / remit? about the nature of the world?
I'm also aware that the Cosmographiae Introductio article overlaps a bit, and I'm thinking that each article should point the reader to the other; and that the pointer in theCosmographiae Introductio article ought to be replacing some of the content presently there. I'll be looking around for guidance on Wiketiquette - and will gratefully receive any hints you may offer! SquisherDa (talk) 17:43, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your keen engagement, SquisherDa. “Cosmography” was a very general word referring to knowledge about the universe and earth, and especially to reference works on the topic, but “Universal Cosmography” (as far as I have seen) referred specifically to a world map or globe. Because there was no such thing in ancient times, there was no suitable Latin term for it. I do not think the term must properly apply only to Ptolemaic representations, but the terminology did fall out of use fairly quickly in the 16th century. By the turn of the 17th century world maps heavily favored something along the lines of “totius terrarum tabula”. An alternative explanation for the term that comes to my mind is that a “Universal Cosmography” was not a world map alone, but one accompanied by lengthy explanatory text. Possibly the explanatory text is on the map directly; possibly it is in the form of a geography book containing or accompanying a world map. Presumably the map and text were considered an integrated whole for apprehending the cosmography.
There is no reason not to use the “better” translation for the text just because it is the one in the lowly bulletin note. We can make a section for alternate translations and add them in as we find them. Sorry about the confusion over which translation I refer to.
I agree about the overlap in Cosmographiae Introductio. I think you have a fine grasp of the issues, so just try your edits and anyone concerned will get involved in sorting them out if they take exception to them. Strebe (talk) 00:41, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
I had a feeling you knew more about this than I do!!! - thank you: I feel I understand the nuances of "Cosmographia" now, and, yes, I'll soon try to sort out an edit. (Then I'll get back to your answers - again thank you - to my enquiry on your Talk page.)
(That's a very interesting point you've brought out: the C.16 transition from universalis cosmographia to totius terrarum tabula. As it stands this is a bit too WP:OR for direct inclusion, of course, but Cosmographia does sound rather like a write-up: with the text (and doctrine!) possibly still primary / the drawing perhaps still ancillary to the text, presenting "results so far". Universalis emphasises that everything's included - especially in connection with a globe: no edges! / a commitment (implicit?) on how large the world is. By contrast, tabula ("table/map") emphasises that this is a flat presentation - and, actually, reintroduces edges and so puts the exploration process into the foreground a bit: with its the 'limits of exploration', and terrae incognitae beyond. It's the natural presentation to use in the 'Age of Exploration' - as opposed to the age of speculation before it!) SquisherDa (talk) 11:01, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

US bias[edit]

There is a little bit to much bias towards the fact that the map is the is the first mention of America for what will eventually become the Americas. THe map is of global interest. It is possible that a small article could be created with the unneeded content. (talk) 05:42, 5 August 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ George E. Nunn, "The Lost Globe Gores of Johann Schöner, 1523-1524", The Geographical Review, vol.17, no.3, July 1927, pp.476-480, nb pp.479-80.

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