History

Throwback Thursday: a history of maps

  • Jun 10, 2015
  • 284 words
  • 2 minutes
Expand Image
Advertisement

Where would we be without maps? Would most of us even be able to navigate from one place to another? Naturally, one of the three pillars of Canadian Geographic’s content is cartography (storytelling and photography are the other two). The magazine has a long history of featuring maps and telling stories about them. As we look back to our past during this 85th anniversary year of the publication, a cartographic history of Canada emerges, particularly in the likes of articles such as “Mapping Canada: Exploration,” from a special 70th anniversary issue of the magazine in 2000.

Expand Image

The piece offered a brief summary of early Canadian mapping. And while renowned explorers such as Martin Frobisher, Samuel de Champlain, James Cook and Alexander Mackenzie get the bulk of the credit, the story also includes mention of the important cartographic contributions made by Canada’s aboriginal peoples. “Their knowledge was often incorporated into maps of early European explorers,” notes the piece, which is accompanied by a map drawn in 1822 at Winter Island by the Inuk Iliguik. Interestingly, Canada’s First Peoples seem to be gaining increasing recognition for their important role in mapping the nation. Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than with the discovery of Sir John Franklin’s ship Erebus last summer, where traditional Inuit knowledge of the local geography was critical to the find. Indeed, though the location isn’t marked, there’s a map of King William Island and the surrounding area drawn by an Inuk named In-nook-poo-zhee-jook in 1869 that almost assuredly includes the spot where Erebus was found. Where might modern-day searchers have been without it?

Advertisement

Related Content

Assassin's Creed Odyssey landscape

Mapping

Inside the intricate world of video game cartography

Maps have long played a critical role in video games, whether as the main user interface, a reference guide, or both. As games become more sophisticated, so too does the cartography that underpins them. 

  • 2569 words
  • 11 minutes

Mapping

Creative Cartography: Matt Cusick’s map collages

  • 1186 words
  • 5 minutes

Mapping

Our five favourite features in the new Apple Maps

iPhone and Mac users across Canada will notice drastic changes to Apple Maps following a massive update pushed to devices yesterday

  • 967 words
  • 4 minutes
Septentrionalium terrarum descriptio, Gerard Mercator (1512-1594), 1613. Baldwin Collection of Canadiana, Toronto Public Library

Mapping

Toronto exhibition celebrates maps as works of art

Art of Cartography exhibit at the Toronto Public Library features visually stunning maps from the 15th through the 19th centuries

  • 617 words
  • 3 minutes