50 Interesting Facts About Maps

Last updated on December 1st, 2021

36. The best map collection in the world is in Paris in Bibliotheque Nationale de France, followed by the Library of Congress in the US and British Library.

37. What is regarded as primary institutional collections of cartography were put together by individuals in the 17th and 18th centuries. For instance, in the UK, the best exhibition was made by King George III.

38. The best place to purchase maps is the Netherlands. The yearly European Fine Art and Antiques Fair in the Netherlands are considered the world’s ideal place to shop for classic and modern art, antique maps and jewellery. It is the world’s biggest and best fine art fair.

39. The oldest known map is of the stars and not the Earth. In 2000, they discovered a map of the night sky in Lascaux, France, during a period of history called the Magdalenian Era. It indicates that the roots of mapmaking and astronomy date farther back than we could think.

40. The famous Babylonian map of the world was scratched on clay tablets during the ancient city of Babylon about 600 BC. The maps are star-shaped and measure five-by-three inches, showing the world as a flat disc surrounded by an ocean.

41. Most elements of cartography science can trace their origins to the Greek scholar works, Claudius Ptolemaeus, famously known as Ptolemy. In 150 AD, he produced an eight-volume textbook that contained among first maps to use mathematical principles.

42. When all roads led to Rome, Peutinger Map was a handy guide to the Empire’s transportation network. The map is oddly shaped with 22 feet long and one foot wide, depicting the course of more than 60,000 miles of roads stretching from western Europe to the Middle East.

43. In the 12th century, a renowned Muslim scholar al-Idris was invited to Norman King Roger’s courts and asked to produce a geography book. The result was Tabula Rogeriania, featuring several regional maps and projections of the known world of Eurasia and a large section of Africa.

44. The celestial globes focus more on the position of stars in the sky without considering the parts of the sun, moon and planets.

45. Due to technological advancement, you can access electronic maps through smartphones, computers and other gadgets. The 3D map versions depict the Earth’s interior, while 2D maps present the Earth’s surface.

Google maps


46. Other than earth globes, there are different globes like celestial globes and astronomical globes used by experts to explore positions of stars in the sky.

47. Antique maps that feature the world’s biggest developing countries have received a recent spike in prices due to increased interest in inbound and outbound travel to the areas.

48. For scales and accuracy, experts use the Hobo-Dyer, which was developed in 2002 and used straight lines of latitude and longitude to show countries in their right proportional size.

49. The Fra Mauro map created by the monk Fra Mauro in 1450 AD is considered one of the most delicate pieces in medieval cartography. It is about two meters in diameter, painted on vellum and laid on a wooden frame.

Globe jigsaw puzzle
An illustrative image of a child with a globe jigsaw puzzle. Interesting Facts About Maps. Image credit – Jaci XIV

50. In the 18th century, jigsaw puzzles were invented to be used in geography classes, but initially, they were maps only.