Cartography is a word that has been in use since the mid-1800s. We will examine the definition of the word cartography, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Cartography is the science and art of making maps. While mapmaking has been in use since ancient times, the science of making geographically accurate maps to scale is a fairly recent development. The Age of Exploration during the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries saw an explosion in world maps, some more accurate than others. While latitude had been in use for centuries, the discovery of how to calculate longitude accurately in the 1700s was helpful in making navigation and maps more accurate. The word cartography is derived from the Latin word carta which means card, and the Greek word graphein which means to draw or write. Related words are cartographer, cartographic, cartographical, cartographically. 


Although the collection itself provides an excellent record of cartography and North American political geography during the relevant time period, the students of GC’s museum studies program have given their own additions to the exhibit’s historical context. (The Union-Recorder)

Aspiring cartographers showcase their beautiful hand-drawn custom maps in the hallways of El Dorado County Government Building B from Feb. 26 through March 9. (The Mountain Democrat)

A set of proof maps, an unusual survival, prepared by Nicholas de Fer for Jacques Robbe’s geographical text, demonstrates Hubbard’s interest in the process of cartographic history. (Fine Books and Collections Magazine)

Vopel, a German cartographer, left behind no explanation of why he added these things to his map, but he may have been motivated by what art historians call horror vacui, the artist’s fear of leaving unadorned spaces on their work. (National Geographic Magazine)

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