1857 map of Kansas

1857 map of Kansas

6130 x 6158

‘Squares inside of a square

It’s almost like farming works best in a square, to maximize effective space and construction of roads and fences

You’ve obviously not been in the eastern part of Kansas: it includes the Flint Hills, and the Osage cuesta ecoregion, especially the northern sections, are anything but flat. Triangles, circles, and other geometric shapes are harder to construct without there being leftover space, and let’s face it: land was money even back then. The decision to lay out the grids were simply a convenience to the surveying technologies of the day that made it much easier to lay out straight lines rather than follow the contours of the land, which probably would have made more sense as far as long term land management practices….’

1819 map of Asia and Oceania

1819 map of Asia and Oceania

6157 x 5388

‘Interesting it’s still referred to as New Holland with ongoing British colonisation

No. Perth, in Western Australia, was not founded until 10 years after this map, by the British. Also Adelaide in South Australia, and even Melbourne in Eastern Australia.

The east coast of Australia–unmapped by the Dutch–was mapped by James Cook in 1770 and thus known as New South Wales. Sydney was established in 1788. So it’s correct that the other three coasts of Australia were still known as New Holland.

It’s a lesson in how things can be named but not recognised as belonging to a particular power until they are colonised, since actual use of the land supposes an entitlement to it.

The Dutch were great explorers and commercial agents but since they found no commercial use in Australia they didn’t have any need to assert a claim to their discoveries.

Australia is a fascinating lesson in this aspect. The same applies to New Zealand which the Dutch discovered 127 years before Cook fully mapped it on his way to Australia. If the Dutch had behaved differently they would have exerted more influence’

1816 Map of the United States

1816 Map of the United States

9876 x 7654

‘Is the lake Michigan/Illinois/Indiana area just mis-mapped here or were the territories realigned later?

Both. Illinois was still a territory, so it had a bit of adjustment when it became a State, but the Mississippi’s path also isn’t exactly right. Many period maps place Lake Michigan further east than it actually was, and the northern borders of Ohio and Indiana would both be reworked after Michigan became a State’

1850 map showing the comparative length of the world's rivers and lakes

1850 map showing the comparative length of the world’s rivers and lakes. It includes a list of rivers and lakes at the bottom

4306 x 5581

‘The main oddity with the Mississippi-Missouri system is that the Missouri is the longest of the two by a good long bit – the main reason that the Mississippi is considered the main river is really just because European mapmakers discovered it first.

However, even when the whole thing is measured from the Missouri’s headwaters – where it should be measured from, strictly speaking – it’s still shorter than the Amazon and Nile, although by a lot less than when it’s measured from the Mississippi’s headwaters.

Mainly, people tend to get excited when they realize the screwy way that the Mississippi’s length is usually reckoned, or sometimes just simply add the two rivers together. This map is old, too, and the interior of Africa wasn’t that well explored, so the precise length of the Nile probably wasn’t actually known’

1850 map showing the comparative length of the world's rivers and lakes

1850 map showing the comparative length of the world’s rivers and lakes. It includes a list of rivers and lakes at the bottom

4306 x 5581

‘The main oddity with the Mississippi-Missouri system is that the Missouri is the longest of the two by a good long bit – the main reason that the Mississippi is considered the main river is really just because European mapmakers discovered it first.

However, even when the whole thing is measured from the Missouri’s headwaters – where it should be measured from, strictly speaking – it’s still shorter than the Amazon and Nile, although by a lot less than when it’s measured from the Mississippi’s headwaters.

Mainly, people tend to get excited when they realize the screwy way that the Mississippi’s length is usually reckoned, or sometimes just simply add the two rivers together. This map is old, too, and the interior of Africa wasn’t that well explored, so the precise length of the Nile probably wasn’t actually known – so by what people knew at this point, the considerably better-surveyed Missouri probably was the longest river of all.

(And that may also be a factor – the modern idea that the Mississippi is the longest river may very well still percolate from a time when that was an entirely reasonable conclusion.)’

1887 county map of South Australia, showing 'North Australia' and 'Alexandraland'

1887 county map of South Australia, showing ‘North Australia’ and ‘Alexandraland’

2335 x 5536

‘More information on Alexandra Land from Wikipedia

“In 1862, John McDouall Stuart succeeded in traversing Central Australia from south to north. His expedition mapped out the route which was later followed by the Australian Overland Telegraph Line.[6] Stuart wanted the newly discovered region to be called “Alexandra Land”, in honour of the Princess of Wales.[7] The name was gazetted in 1865 applying to the portion South of 16°S of what is now the Northern Territory.[8] For some time, Northern Territory including Arnhem Land referred to the region North of that’