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In the late-1700s maps which showed a theme started to emerge.

These were used to record the spread of a particular ‘event’ – for instance, the location of people who had a contagious illness or the extent of a flood.

See About Projections for information about modern conventions.

In Europe, the Renaissance period brought a number of significant changes which hugely affected mapping: All these led to a massive expansion in geographic knowledge and mapping.

As most maps were produced within monasteries, religious zeal tended to dominate mapping.

The Greeks and Romans continued to refine the art of map making, culminating with the work of Claudius Ptolemaeus (in English Ptolemy).

Ptolemy was a geographer, mathematician and astronomer who lived in Roman Egypt.

In about 150 AD he famously published a scientific treatise titled Geographia (in English Geography).

This contained thousands of references and maps of various parts of the world – with longitude and latitude lines.

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