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International Conference on the History of Cartography

26th International Conference on the History of Cartography
July 12-17, 2015 Antwerpen

The opening ceremony was held in AMUZ on Sunday 12 July and included speeches by Inge Schoups (Antwerp city archivist), Tony Campbell (chairman of Imago Mundi Ltd.), and Guest speaker Manfred Sellink, general director of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, about Antwerp and cartography in the 16th century - a splendid marriage; with musical interludes by Clari Cantus.

On Monday there was a reception at the Antwerp City Hall. On Wednesday was an informational session followed by an aperitive to celebrate the publication of vol. 6 of The History of Cartography.

The conference was held in the Aula Rector Dhanis of the University of Antwerp. The main coordinator was Joost Depuydt.

A total of 230 people attended the conference. Photos and biographical information each presenter and abstracts of all papers in English were provided in a printed program, also on-line available.

Pre-conference meetings on Saturday 12 July were the Meeting of the International Society of Curators of Early Maps (ISCEM) and the Annual General Meeting of the International Society for the History of the Map (ISHMap).

The farewell dinner was in the FelixArchief.

The post conference tour went to the Mercator Museum (Sint-Niklaas) and the University Library (Leuven).

Conference themes

Theatrum orbis terrarum - theatre of the world - in Four Dimensions

The 26th International Conference on the History of Cartography is organized under the main heading ‘Theatre of the World’. Inspiration was derived from the title of the very first modern atlas, which was published in 1570 by the Antwerp mapmaker Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598).

Ortelius used the theatrum mundi metaphor which was a dominant image in Western thinking. The world of the stage, of roles, masks, parts to play has been one of the most enduring ways of speaking about life and the world we live in. This metaphor also inspired famous writers. "All the World’s a Stage" is the opening phrase of a monologue from Shakespeare's As You Like It, performed at the Globe Theatre. The Dutch poet Joost van den Vondel put it as "De wereld is een schouwtoneel", while Calderón de la Barca titled one of his plays El gran teatro del mundo.

The four theatrical dimensions Space, Time, Imagination and Spectacle cover more specific aspects of the history of cartography.

  • space
    • Mapping the city/metropolis
    • Maritime maps
    • Exploration maps
    • Atlas production
  • time
    • Mapping the past: historical maps and atlases
    • The history of longitude
    • Prime meridians
  • imagination
    • Mapping mythical and imaginary places
    • Artistic decoration of maps
    • Thematic mapping
    • Map projections: the earth in two dimensions
  • spectacle
    • Unlocking the treasure-houses of map collections to a large audience
    • Maps in all dimensions: globes, large wall maps, tiny maps in almanacs,
    • Showing status: the use of maps for promotional reasons
  • … and variety
    • Any other aspect of the history of cartography


Six exhibitions were prepared in conjunction with the conference:

MAS - The World in a Mirror
The Earth’s surface area is 510 million km². For centuries, humans all around the world have tried to make Earth’s massive size comprehensible in a smaller format, namely in maps of the world.

Museum Plantin-Moretus - Drawing the City
In the sixteenth century, Antwerp developed into an international commercial capital. The city's appearance changed very quickly. Using views of the city, maps and historical prints, the exhibition follows Antwerp's varying fortunes during this turbulent period.

Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library - The Seven Seas
This exhibition will show highlights in the evolution of maritime cartography in the Age of Sail, based on nautical atlases and a recently restored pair of Blaeu globes.

Rockoxhuis - Abraham Ortelius under the spell of Classical Antiquity
With the help of his celebrated museum collection and his collection of coins, Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) reconstructed ancient times in his Parergon, a collection of historical maps.

University Library Antwerp & FelixArchief - Geographical Initiatives in Antwerp (late 19th century)
The very first International Geographical Conference (1871) took place in Antwerp. The people behind this conference were also the founding fathers of the Royal Antwerp Geographical Society (1876).

FelixArchief - Pearls of Surveying The archives of the city and its OCMW (Social Welfare Agency) contain several meticulously hand-drawn land-ownership maps.


* = not read, abstract in program book.

    Sunday, July 12, 2015

    Session 1: Mapping the city (chair: Piet Lombaerde)

  1. Dávid Derzsenyi, Making knowledge in the mirror of Rome: Isaac Vossius' copy of the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae
  2. Jean-Marc Besse, New sight, old sites: editing Italy in the Civitates orbis terrarum
  3. Stéphane Demeter & Cecilia Paredes, Gilles van der Hecken's map of Brussels (1535): exploring the centrality of pre-modern city spaces
  4. Marc Muylle, Does Antwerp's 'oldest' city map and related 16th-century bird's-eye views have a common precursor?

    Monday, July 13, 2015

    Session 2: World views (chair: Tim Soens)

  5. Klaus Geus & Irina Tupikova, Explaining the errors in Ptolemy's world map
  6. Cornelia Dreer, The Polychronicon maps: mappae mundi and memorization
  7. Thomas Horst, New aspects to the world maps by Diogo Ribeiro: historical background and reception
  8. Julien Bérard, Medieval world views and early modern cartography: the Theatrum orbis terrarum (1570 onwards) of Abraham Ortelius

    Session 3: Map-makers of the 16th century (chair: Jean-Marc Besse)

  9. Karen De Coene, Back to the first Lafreri's? Historical network analysis and the early Italian composite atlas
  10. Hugo Decleir, "In what place, therefore, lies that point, which the magnet so greatly seeks?"
  11. Joaquim Gaspar & Henrique Leitão, Revisiting Mercator's world map of 1569: an assessment of navigational accuracy
  12. Dirk Imhof, The distribution of individual maps by Ortelius via the Plantin Press after 1612

    Session 4: Map use (chair: Carme Montaner)

  13. Linda Rui Feng, What the map readers saw: writing and cartography in Tang dynasty China (618-907 CE)
  14. Maïka De Keyzer & Tim Soens, Consuming maps and producing space: explaining regional variations in the reception and agency of cartography
  15. Quentin Morcrette, Individuality on the map

    Session 5: Mapping in times of war (chair: Catherine Dunlop)

  16. Marian Coman, Theatrum belli: the Ottoman-Habsburg Long War (1591-1606) and the making of a cartographic genre
  17. Valeria Manfrè, Making war and maps: cartographic representation through the atlas of the Marquis of la Mina (1717-1720)
  18. Peter Vujakovic, "All the world's a stage": maps as spectacle in reporting of threat discourse in the 20th century

    Tuesday, July 14, 2015

    Session 6: Borders and frontiers (chair: Petra Svatek)

  19. Mirela Altić, Dalmatia and the southern Ottoman borderland in the eyes of Jan Janssonius
  20. Madalina Veres, An untraceable border: cartographic projects during Habsburg-Parmesan negotiations (1750-1790)
  21. Catherine Dunlop, Mapping Alsace-Lorraine: a story of cartographic exchange between France and Germany
  22. André Reyes Novaes, Cartographic language and geopolitical discourses on Brazilian borders

    Session 7: State mapping (chair: Francis Herbert)

  23. Hirotada Kawamura, On the general maps of Japan compiled by the Tokugawa shogunate (1608-1867)
  24. Kory Olson, A new way of seeing France: the case of 'Paris' from the Service géographique's 1906 Carte de France
  25. Zef Segal, Geopolitics and the territorial state: the representation of new states in German atlases (1800-1939)

    Session 8: Maritime charts (chair: Junia Furtado)

  26. Isabella Alexander, Entering uncharted waters: maritime charts and copyright law in 18th-century Britain
  27. Maria Gussarsson, The maritime atlas production of Gustaf af Klint: a unique chapter in Swedish cartographic history
  28. Yannan Ding, The Paracels: cartographic fault and the transmission of geographical knowledge (c. 1800)

    Session 9: Map iconography (chair: Mark Monmonier)

  29. Ariel Tishby, Arnold and Nicolaes van Geelkercken's map of the Holy Land: an iconographical study of a rare wall map
  30. Radu Leca, The versatility of ship iconography on a 17th-century Japanese map
  31. Max Moerman, The European airship and the Buddhist world map

    Session 10: Historical maps in historical GIS (short presentations and panel discussion) (chair: James R. Akerman)

  32. Kimmo Katajala & Antti Härkönen, Mapping the urban spaces of a border town: Vyborg (Viipuri) from the 1630s to the present
  33. Ellen Janssens & Iason Jongepier, Historic city maps and GIS: challenges and opportunities, using 'GIStorical Antwerp' as a test-case
  34. Juan Martín Giraldo, Stefania Gallini & Omar Ruiz, Mapping the agricultural past of the Cundiboyacense high plateau, Colombian Andes mountains (18th - 20th centuries)

    Wednesday, July 15, 2015

    Session 11: Aspects of 20th-century mapping (chair: Isabella Alexander)

  35. Mark Monmonier, Inventors and cartographic creativity: map-related U.S. patents (1840-2012)
  36. Benjamin Sacks, Airwave cartography: mapping British radio relays and propaganda power (1947-1991)
  37. André Ourednik, The automobile world and the future of space: a cartographic perspective

    Session 12: Mapping the malleable (special session) (chair: Matthew Edney)

  38. Stephen Hornsby, Picturing the world: American pictorial maps (1920-1970)
  39. Katariina Kosonen, Passive resistance and raging propaganda: pictorial maps in the Finnish popular press (1900-1942)
  40. Kathryn Edney, Mapping transitory events: Al Hirschfeld's summer stock caricatures of the 1930s and 1940s

    Session 13: Unlocking the treasure-houses of map collections (short presentations and panel discussion) (chair: Nick Millea)

  41. Martijn Storms, The best of three worlds: merging three digital map collections
  42. G. Salim Mohammed, Unleashing and exposing Stanford's historic maps: Project Ortelius & digital philanthropy
  43. Leif Isaksen, Elton Barker, Rainer Simon & Pau de Soto Cañamares, Connecting cartography: Recogito and the Pelagios Project

    Thursday, July 16, 2015

    Session 14: Late medieval and early modern maps (chair: Tony Campbell)

  44. Chet Van Duzer, "Let there be multispectral light": imaging the c. 1491 world map by Henricus Martellus at Yale
  45. Ellen Klompmaker, The Scheldt maps of c. 1469 and 1505: regional and local cartography in late-Medieval Flanders
  46. Daniel Shelley, A study of Andrés de Morales' map of Hispaniola of 1509 and the origins of New World cartography
  47. Barbara Uppenkamp, Space, time and spectacle in the Rantzau Plate (c. 1587)

    Session 15: Mapping new geographical knowledge across cultures (chair: Carla Lois)

  48. Catherine Burdick, 'Tabula Geographica Regni Chile' (1646): early modern cartography at the Spanish Imperial periphery
  49. Junia Furtado, The ambassador, the geographer, the writer and the discovery of South Africa's geography (1720-1725)
  50. Mario Cams, Cross-cultural cartography in practice: instruments and maps between Europe and China (1685-1735)
  51. Imre Demhardt, Re-discovering the Arctic: cartographic treasure troves: 19th-century German geographic journals

    Session 16: Medieval European, Asian and Islamic cartography (special session) (chair: Karen De Coene)

  52. Stefan Schröder,The hybrid character of the 9th-century 'Andalusian Map' between Arabic and Latin cartography
  53. Alfred Hiatt, Earth and water: rethinking the equinoctial ocean
  54. Hyunhee Park, Islamic source maps for the 1402 Korean world map

    Session 17: Mapping between science and imagination (chair: Evelyn Edson)

  55. *Sen-hao Yang, Real and imaginary: the feng-shui maps for graveyard disputes in northern Taiwan (1878-1895)
  56. Nydia Pineda De Ávila, Lunar maps as crossroads of technology, art and natural philosophy in the mid-17th century
  57. Gilles Palsky, The philosopher's map: cartography, Earth theory and spirit of Enlightenment

    Session 18: Bound images: maps and books since 1453 (panel discussion) (moderator: Matthew Edney) Panelists: Jordana Dym, Carla Lois & Joost Depuydt

    Friday, July 17, 2015

    Session 19: Collecting maps (chair: Martijn Storms)

  58. George Carhart, Maps and their place in the Enlightenment library: a consideration of the Fagel Library (1600-1802)
  59. Tom Harper, Institutional collecting of early maps during the 19th century
  60. Sjoerd de Meer, Collecting for the nation? Frederik Casparus Wieder and Willem Anton Engelbrecht
  61. Diana Lange, Mapping Tibet in mid-19th century: The British Library's Wise Collection

    Session 20: Cartographic forms and shapes (chair: Mirela Altić)

  62. Andréa Doré, Let's imagine a butterfly: animals, plants and anthropomorphism in geographical descriptions
  63. Markus Heinz, German maps in pieces: a contribution to the early history of the jigsaw puzzle
  64. Petra Svatek, Nature paintings and thematic cartography: early panoramic maps in Austria (1848-1884)
  65. Patrick Ellis, The Panstereorama: plans-reliefs as public spectacle (1760-1851)

    Session 21: Inspiration and imagination (chair: Jordana Dym)

  66. Inge Panneels, Why do artists use maps?
  67. Charlotta Forss, The Swedish Atlantis: Olof Rudbeck the Elder and early modern usages of cartography
  68. Carla Lois, Quinta pars, terra incognita or imaginary place? Verisimilitude and mapping of the southern continent

Poster Presentations 26th ICHC

    Theme 1: Military mapping
  1. Merve Senem Arkan, Story of a city under siege (1570-1571): Stephano Gibellino's map of Famagusta
  2. Jeroen Bos, Agent of empire: the dual role of colonial military engineer Carl Friedrich
  3. João Garcia, Enric Mendizàbal & Francesc Nadal, The Roussillon campaign (1793-1795): Portuguese military cartography of Catalonia
  4. Martin Davis, Soviet military mapping of the UK and contemporary Ordnance Survey mapping: a comparative analysis
    Theme 2: Maritime charts
  5. Emmanuelle Vagnon, Describing and illustrating maritime spaces: an illuminated portolan text at the court of François I
  6. Marvin Falk, The development of standards for the nautical charts of Russian hydrographers
    Theme 3: Cartographic discoveries
  7. Antti Jakobsson, Leena Miekkavaara & Istvan Kecskemeti, A rare printed map of 12 globe gores: one of the first maps containing the name 'America'
  8. Vera Dorofeeva-Lichtmann, A recently identified late 18th - early 19th centuries manuscript map of the Chinese Empire in Göttingen
  9. Catherine Hofmann & François Nawrocki, Early and modern globes in French collections
    Theme 4: Cartography across cultures
  10. Sarah Molina, Boundaries and frontiers: the Earthly and the Fantastic in al-Idrisi's Mediterranean
  11. Ekaterina Simonova-Gudzenko, Gy?ki-type maps as the essential basis of visual representation of Japan
    Theme 5: Mapping the city
  12. Keti Lelo & Valerio Baiocchi, Metric accuracy of 18th- and 19th-century maps of Rome
    Theme 6: Toponyms on early maps
  13. Gilsun Oh, Redrawing of the five most important maps in the Song dynasty
    Theme 7: Map decoration
  14. Jiajing Zhang, The spreading and application of the Western contour method in modern China
  15. Nataliya Vinogradova, Peoples of the Russian Empire: how they appear on old Russian maps
  16. Liudmila Zinchuk, Artistic design of Russian printed maps of the 18th century
    Theme 8: Mapping new geographical knowledge
  17. Sabrina Guerra Moscoso, Francis Drake and the cartography of the New World
    Theme 9: Aspects of European cartography
  18. Dániel Segyevy, Map twins: the 1:200,000 ethnographical maps of Hungary (1918) in the shadow of Trianon
  19. Lucyna Szaniawska, Maps and atlases of Joachim Lelewel (1786-1861) accompanying his historical studies
    Theme 10: Showing status
  20. Alexander Kent, Spectacle and status: the evolution of decoration in English estate maps (1630-1730)
  21. Luis Urteaga & Concepción Camarero-Bullón, The last topograhical survey of the royal site of Aranjuez (1864-1868)
  22. Paola Sereno, Maria Luisa Sturani & Paola Pressenda, The Theatrum Sabaudiae as a part of a representation system celebrating the sovereign's power


Imago Mundi 68,1 (2016), 88-91 (Petra Svatek)
The Portolan 94 (Winter 2015), 38-42 (Bert Johnson et al.)
© 1995-2015 Idea and text 1964-95: Douglas Sims; text 1997- and web version: Peter van der Krogt