The Cartography of Africa: Finding Holes in Our Knowledge

The public dialogue remains in a constant search for meaning. How do we achieve clarity? The human vessel must surely be purged of waste, and then continually re-filled with knowledge, especially about the wide world that we inhabit. As noted by the philosopher Ernst Cassirer:


 “The world is not self-evident from the onset; it must be apprehended…in an ongoing crisis of spatial consciousness.”


Indeed, Africa is climbing out of the holes of exploitation, and now we must attend to the more critical holes in our knowledge about the second largest continent and the youngest in demographics.

For this purpose, The Afriterra Cartographic Library now presents a method to focus and enliven the view of Africa. By using our accessible digital platform, anyone can examine a range of historical maps extending over the last 500 years. These maps confront us with a vastly larger sense of time and space than we usually experience in reading textual history.

Please pause for a moment to peruse this vivid material, and then query your own searches, and tell us all about your own meaning and the applications you find for the future both near and far.

:         1513
Title:         Tabula Moderna Prime Partis
Cartographer:   Martin Waldseemuller



:          1591
Title:          Sisto PP.V. Prenicipe inagnanimo…
Cartographer:    Filippo Pigafetta





:         1596
Title:        Typus orarum maritimarum Guinea…
Cartographer:  H Huygen van Linschoten



:          c. 1650
Title:          Sroberung der Statt Loando…
Cartographer:    Mattaeus Merian

:         1670
Title:        Regna Congo et Angola
Cartographer:  Johannes Blaeu



:          1750
Title:          Paskaart..Zuydelykstegedeelte AFRICA…
Cartographer:    Johannes van Keulen, Jr.


:         1795
Title:        Nautical map intended for the use…
Cartographer:  Carl Berhard Wadstrom



:          1887
Title:          Map of the GOLD COAST COLONY…
Cartographer:    J. Kelly, Intelligence Division War Office


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