Mapping ideas

For centuries maps have made valuable learning tools. Maps can help to spread existing ideas, and to formulate new ones.

In this section you'll see how 17th century missionaries described the world to the Chinese, and how Victorian children used jigsaw puzzles in geography lessons. You'll discover how map-makers in the middle ages looked to the wisdom of Ancient Greek astronomers, and see how 17th century scientists used maps to learn about the moon's bumpy surface.

Ptolemy's World Map

Map of the moon

Map of South America

Jigsaw puzzle map

Chinese globe