6
$\begingroup$

The first, known to me, drawing of a simulated view of Earth from outside—roughly passable* by modern standards—is this pic from 1834 attributed to Henry De la Beche drawing of the Eastern hemishpere

Was he the first who tried hard? Or you know earlier artworks presenting the scene using the best scientific knowledge available?


 * De la Beche drew a large dark spot somewhere around Lake Chad in Africa, but completely missed a permanent (and anyway much larger) Lake Victoria. And the limb doesn’t look impressive – the most striking error is overextended Sea of Okhotsk. Otherwise the image appears to have a fairly good accuracy for a distant (a hundred megametres or more) view of the planet.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Since Antarctica was discovered in 1820, you cannot expect a realistic drawing much earlier. Neither this picture is very precise: it shows a continent in the North polar ocean. If this is not a continent but just polar ice, then it is too small. $\endgroup$ – Alexandre Eremenko Nov 23 '20 at 14:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Alexandre Eremenko you absolutely are wrong about 1820.        • It could depict a close view from some megametre or less (low orbit) excluding both polar areas;        • Even if orthographic, may be taken from somewhat northern direction hiding Antarctic completely behind the globe (not from the equatorial plane, like De la Beche’s);        • Appropriate time (such as, June) could be depicted to place unwanted regions (such as, Antarctic) into the night. $\endgroup$ – Incnis Mrsi Nov 24 '20 at 17:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As for Arctic ice, do you expect Siberian seas be completely frozen year-round in 1834? Ī̲ see nothing egregiously wrong for, guess, Autumn equinox on extent of the ice. But the projection is questionable. $\endgroup$ – Incnis Mrsi Nov 24 '20 at 19:02
  • $\begingroup$ yes. The so-called North East passage was never navigable before the current global warming. Only with the help of icebreakers one could travel along the North shore of Siberia all the way from Atlantic to Pacific. $\endgroup$ – Alexandre Eremenko Nov 25 '20 at 0:31
  • $\begingroup$ It was “never navigable” during a single season because of poor technology – note wooden hulls, not metallic. Also, local shipbuilders and sailors were mediocre, compared to Vikings. Anyway even with dumb wooden sailboats some explorers like Dezhnev navigated Arctic waters, hence by no means was East Siberian Sea frozen in summer. $\endgroup$ – Incnis Mrsi Nov 25 '20 at 10:30
5
$\begingroup$

Wikipedia has a good list of such maps. The first one for me that shows the continents roughly as we see today (Minus Antarctica) seems to be the Kunyu Wanguo Quantu 1602 map, included below, which is only missing Australia and Antarctica, plus a fair bit of the North American continent. Another candidate, included below, is the Orbis Terrarum 1658 map which shows even Australia. Lastly, the first with the outlines of everything except for Antarctica more or less correct is the Samuel Dunn's map of the world (1794), which is the final one below.

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Which of these maps is orthographic? Or—weaker—which looks anywhere close to a view of Earth from outside? It is regrettable that an answer completely missing the point collected five upvotes in 23 hours on this site. $\endgroup$ – Incnis Mrsi Nov 24 '20 at 17:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You never mentioned orthographic in your question. I could pull a global view that would look something close to several of the maps above, especially the last set, although I think the scale isn't quite right still. I would argue that the last map shows almost exactly what you showed in yours, for instance. $\endgroup$ – PearsonArtPhoto Nov 24 '20 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ OK, Ī̲ clarified that the drawing should simulate a view of Earth from outside. Am Ī̲ looking like a lazy kook who can’t search for merely world maps made before 1834? $\endgroup$ – Incnis Mrsi Nov 24 '20 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ Hemispheres in “the general map…” are drawn in something like azimuthal equidistant projection which doesn’t look like an exterior view. Not the case for De la Beche’s (although his drawing is not very accurate on orthographicity). $\endgroup$ – Incnis Mrsi Nov 24 '20 at 18:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.