4406 entries. 94 themes. Last updated December 26, 2016.

Timeline Outline ViewEra: All Eras   |   Theme: Cartography / Geography / Voyages / Travels / GIS


Circa 130,000 BCE
Stone tools found on Crete dating back over 130,000 years suggest that prehistoric civilizations took to the sea much earlier than previously thought. (view larger)
The Earliest Evidence of Sea Voyages
Circa 12,000 BCEThe Oldest Map is Discovered in Abauntz Cave, Navarre, Spain 10,000 BCE
Perhaps the Oldest Map in the World
Circa 6,200 BCE
A  wallpainting, located in Catal Hoyuk, that might be the earliest landscape painting yet discovered, or a map. (View Larger)
A Wallpainting that Could be a Landscape or a Map
2,800 BCEPavlopetri: the Oldest Submerged Town Site Circa 2,500 BCEOne of the Oldest, Largest & Best Preserved Vessels from Antiquity Circa 2,500 BCE
Photo of wharf at low tide, Wadi al-Jarf
The World's Oldest Harbor
Circa 700 BCE – 500 BCEThe Babylonian Map of the World, the Oldest Usable Map 343 BCE – 313 BCEThe Oldest Map Clearly Marked with Distances Circa 175 BCE
A Taoist text preserved on silk and discovered in Mawangui in 1973.
The Mawangui Silk Texts
Circa 100 CE – 178 CE
At Alexandria Ptolemy Writes the Almagest, the Cosmographia, and the Tetrabiblos
203 CE – 211 CE
A reconstruction of a portion of the Forma Urbis Romae, showing a section of the Theater of Pompey. (View Larger)
The Forma Urbis Romae, Monumental Stone Map of Ancient Rome
Circa 850
Cosmas Indicopleustes's map of the earth, from Topographia Christiana. (View Larger)
An Early Flat-Earth View of the World
Circa 850 – 950
Codex Heidelbergensis 398: the single document, edited by Sigismund Gelenius, that recounts the periplus of Hanno. (View Larger)
The Periplus of Hanno the Navigator
Circa 1000
The reconstructions of three Norse buildings are the focal point of this archaeological site, the earliest known European settlement in the New World. The archaeological remains at the site were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.
The First Conclusive Proof that Norsemen Reached North America
Circa 1025Medieval Islamic Views of the Cosmos: The Book of Curiosities Circa 1090 – 1125
A T-O design from Lambert's Liber Floridus. (View Larger)
A Medieval Encyclopedia, of which the Autograph Manuscript Survived
Circa 1150
Detail of page from the Codex Calixtinus–or Liber Sancti Jacobi / Book of Saint James Calixtinus–or Liber Sancti Jacobi / Book of Saint JamesCodex Calixtinus–or Liber Sancti Jacobi / Book of Saint James.
An Illuminated Medieval Travel Guide and Music Compendium
1245The First Record of a Chinese Printed Seal in Europe Circa 1250
Rome and its vicinity, as depicted on a reproduction the Tabula Peutingeriana. (View Full Map - Very Large)
The Tabula Peutingeriana: the only Roman World Map that Survived from Antiquity
A map illustrating both the first and second Polo expeditions. (View Larger)
The Travels of Niccolo and Maffeo Polo
A map of the Polos' eastward journey, begun in 1271. (View Larger)
Carrying the Pope's Response to Kublai Khan
1298 – 1299
Folio 54r from a facsimile of 'Le divisament dou monde,' preserved at the University of Graz, in Germany. (View Larger)
The Lure and Romance of Travel to the East
Circa 1300
The Hereford Mappa Mundi. (View Larger)
The Hereford Mappa Mundi, "The Greatest Extant Thirteenth Century Pictorial…
Circa 1300
A reproduction of Tabula Rogeriana. (View Larger)
The Most Accurate World Map for Three Centuries
Circa 1360The Gough Map: The Oldest Surviving Road Map of Great Britain and the First Map to Depict a Recognizably Accurate Picture of Britain's Coastline 1375One of the Most Beautiful Medieval Atlases Circa 1390
A portion of the Dun Ming Hun Yi Tu, or The Great Amalgamated Map, showing the African continent. (View Larger)
The Oldest Map of Africa
1411 – 1419
The De Virga world map. (View Larger
Medieval Mappa Mundi, Stolen during an Auction
Page 145b of A Mariner's Knowledge, by Michael of Rhodes, depicting a completed galley ship.
The Earliest Known Treatise on Shipbuilding
1448 – 1458The First Historical Geography Circa 1450
The Fra Mauro map, created by the monk around 1450, is oriented with the South at the top, and depicts Asia, Africa, and Europe. The artistry is exceptionally detailed, and quite acurate for its time. (View Larger)
"The Greatest Memorial of Medieval Cartography"
1450 – 1571
A woodcut from the Nuremburg Chronicle, showing Erfurt, 1493.
The Library of Hartmann Schedel, One of the Largest Libraries Formed by an Individual in the 15th Century
September 25, 1471First Printed Edition of the Only Formal Roman Treatise on Geography November 19, 1472
Earliest printed example of a classical T and O map (by Günther Zainer, Augsburg, 1472), illustrating the first page of chapter XIV of the Etymologiae of Isidore of Seville. It shows the continents as domains of the sons of Noah: Sem (Shem), Lafeth (Japheth) and Cham (Ham).
The First Printed Edition of Isidore's "Etymologiae" Includes the First Map Included in a Printed Book
August 5, 1475The First "Modern" Printed Map: Lucas Brandis' Map of the Holy Land September 13, 1475The First Printed Edition of the First Geography Contains No Maps 1477
Detail of map from Ptolemy's Cosmographia showing the southeastern coast of Spain.  Click on the link to view and enlarge the entire page from the book.
The first illustrated edition of Ptolemy's Cosmographia, the First Book with Engraved Maps
1480"La edifichation de molti pallazi & tempii & altri gradissimi edificii de roma", an Early Printed Guidebook to Rome, Known from a Single Surviving Copy 1482
Detail of map from Pomponius Mela's Cosmographi geographia printed in 1482.  Please click to view entire image.
The First World Map to Show the Results of the Age of Discovery
February 11, 1486Breydenbach's "Peregrinatio in terram sanctam", the First Illustrated Travel Book: An International Bestseller 1492Martin Behaim's "Erdapfel", the Oldest Surviving Terrestrial Globe July 30 – October 12, 1492Departure of Columbus for the New World & the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain February 15, 1493Columbus's Description of the New World: the First Eyewitness Report to Become a Bestseller; in 2016, Reports of a Theft and Forgery of a Copy of the Third Edition June 12 – December 23, 1493The Nuremberg Chronicle 1494Probably the Earliest European Depiction of Native Americans Circa 1504Newly Discovered: The Earliest Surviving Globe Showing the New World April 1507
A portion of the last surviving copy of the Waldseemüller map, made by German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller in 1507, was the first published map to include the name 'America.' (View Larger)
Martin Waldseemüller Creates the First Map to Name America: A Wall Map…
1510Francesco Albertini Issues the First Guidebook to Ancient and Modern Rome: a New "Mirabilia Romae" 1575François de Belleforest Describes Paintings in Rouffignac Cave 1602Matteo Ricci Issues the First European-Style World Map in Chinese & the First Chinese Map to Show the Americas 1602 – 1604Guillaume de Castelfranc Issues the First World Map Showing Isogonic Lines 1624Johannes Meursius Issues the First Guidebook to Athens 1644Michael Florent van Langren issues the Earliest Known Graph of Statistical Data 1647Johannes Hevelius Issues the First Extensive Moon Atlas 1677The First Map Engraved and Published in New England 1688The First Independently Published Bibliography of Mathematics 1691 – 1694The First Map of All of New Spain 1713White Kennett Issues the First Bibliography of Americana 1729Ibrahim Müteferikka Issues the First Illustrated Book Printed by Muslims 1765Joseph Priestley Issues the First Biographical Timeline Chart 1769 – 1770Joseph Priestley Issues the Most Influential Historical Timeline of the Eighteenth Century 1777Zimmerman Issues the First Textbook on Zoogeography 1780Jean-Étienne Guettard Issues the First National Geological Atlas 1784Abel Buell Issues the First Map of the United States Printed in the United States 1789 – 1792Christopher Colles Issues the First Road Atlas of the United States 1798 – 1799Napoleon's Imprimerie Nationale, the First Printing Presses in Africa since 1516 1802Bowditch Issues the "New American Practical Navigator" April 1802 – October 1803The First Catalogue of the Library of Congress is Published April 1803 – March 1804The First World Atlas Printed by Muslims November 30, 1803Francisco Javier de Balmis Undertakes the First International Health-Care Expedition 1806 – 1821Méchain, Delambre, Biot & Arago Calculate the Meter (Metre) Scientifically 1832 – 1834One of the First Applications of Spatial Analysis in Epidemology 1838 – 1845Charles Knight Invents "Illuminated Printing" & Offers Printed Color Plates at a Low Price for the Mass Market October 19 – October 25, 1839George Bradshaw Issues the First Railway Timetable 1855Matthew Maury Writes the First Widely Read 19th Century Textbook of Oceanography and Atmospherics 1857Lorin Blodget Founds of American Climatology and Meteorology November 20, 1869Charles Joseph Minard Issues One of the Best Statistical Graphic Ever Drawn July 25 – November 29, 1872Henry Stevens Calls for a Central Bibliographical Bureau Which Would Also Store Images 1874
Circular note, launched in 1874 by Thomas Cook. 
No higher resolution image available at this time.
"Circular Notes", a Precursor of Traveler's Cheques, are Introduced
1874Francis Amasa Walker Issues The First National Thematic Atlas 1876 – December 2012The First Comprehensive Global Study of Zoogeography, Including the first Global Biodiversity Map 1913Using Cross-Over Data to Construct the First Genetic Map July 29 – October 1, 1958NASA is Founded August 14, 1959The First Photograph of Earth from an Orbiting Satellite April 12, 1961Yuri Gagarin Becomes the First Human to Travel into Space and the First to Orbit the Earth 1962Roger Tomlinson Develops the First True Operational Geographic Information System (GIS) 1966NCR Issues the Smallest Published Edition of the Bible, and the First to Reach the Moon 1967 – 1983Jacques Bertin's "Sémiologie graphique" is Published December 24, 1968The First Manned Apollo Flights Occur July 21, 1969A Problem with the Apollo 11 Guidance Computer Nearly Prevents the First Moon Walk July 23, 1972The Beginnings of the Landsat Program December 7, 1972One of the Most Widely Distributed Photographic Images: The Blue Marble Photograph of the Earth 1973Discovery of Citation Mapping February 1977The First GPS Satellite September 5, 1977 – August 25, 2012The First Manmade Object to Cross the Heliopause and Enter Interstellar Space November 20, 1997Perhaps the First Commercially Available Virtual Globe 1998The Digital Michelangelo Project February 14, 1998The Bibliometrics of Science 2001
The KH-4B Corona Reconaissance Satellite
Origins of Google Earth
December 2003
Michael Hawley
The World's Largest Book --Spectacularly Beautiful
2004OpenStreetMap Begins October 2004 – 2005Google Maps Begins 2005
An image of earth using the Google Earth program
Google Earth is Launched
September 30, 2005
Olaf Sporns
Connectomes: Elements of Connections Forming the Human Brain
May 25, 2007 – May 12, 2008
Google Street View image of St Johns Street in Manchester UK showing 8 different possible views
Google Introduces Street View in Google Maps
October 2008 – March 2012The Largest Atlas Ever Published as a Printed Book February 2, 2009Google Earth Incorporates Historical Imagery March 11, 2009A Higher Resolution Map of Knowledge Than Can be Produced from Citation Analysis July 2009The Human Connectome Project August 25, 2009Displaying Crowdsourced Road Congestion Data on Google Maps November 13, 2009A "Significant Amount" of Water is Discovered on the Moon 2010"Atlas of Science: Visualizing What We Know" 2010"Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline" April 27 – June 10, 2010Google Acknowledges that it Collected Wi-Fi Information Along with Cartographic and Imaging Information August 5, 2010The 2010 Social Networking "World Map" November 30, 2010Google Earth 6: Enhanced 3D, 3D Trees, Enhanced Historical Imagery December 2, 2010The Google Earth Engine December 16, 20103D Maps for Android Mobil Devices February 17, 2011The U. S. National Broadband Map March 2011 – March 2013An Interactive Map of the Internet Later Produced as an iPhone App November 29, 2011Google Maps 6.0 for Android Introduces Indoor Maps and a "My Location" Feature December 4, 2013Introduction of "Arches": an Open-source, Web-based, Geospatial Information System for Cultural Heritage Inventory and Management January 1, 2014A Neural Network that Reads Millions of Street Numbers