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Martin Waldseemüller & the Map that Named "America"

A Mapmaker's Life


Creating the Map That Named America

Printer's Mark

Printers Mark. The "MI" in the circle is for Martin Ilacomylus, as Waldseemüller referred to himself. The mark shows the popular language of the time. What is it?

America 12 Panel Wall Map

In 1507, Waldseemüller created two maps that reflected information the scholars at St. Dié had received about the discovery of a new continent in the Atlantic. He produced one map, a globe gores, intended to be cut out and pasted on a sphere to form a globe, and another map, a plane chart or flat representation of the earth, designed on 12 panels.

To aid in the understanding of these maps, the scholars of St. Dié created a small textbook called Cosmographiae Introductio, which they bound with a new edition of The Four Voyages of Amerigo Vespucci, which Sandacourt had translated into Latin from a French copy Lud had obtained from Portugal. It was on these maps and in this text that the name America was first used.