Map of world circa 1614

About: BibliOdyssey

Why does the pacific coast of the Americas stretch westerdly instead of northernly ?  Was this for the convenience of the map maker? ... or was it due to some nagigation glitch?

I think the reason the Pacific North West was the last part of the globe to be explored by Europeans was because of the "North Pacific Gyre".  The ocean currents flowed predomantly south ... it was very difficult to tack that far north. 

You can find the original scans at the University of Biefiled.


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Comments


Seth says
A picture of the pacific currents ...



Seth says

This map is yet another example proving that it was well known in the 17th century that California was not an island.  Yet maps depicting it as such still appeard 100 years later.  


Seth says
M 2006-06-12 09:08:32 3691
I guess they got confused as to the mapping of Baja California. (;-))

Yep ... it is a facinating story ... partually told at Wikipedia ... and elaborated in The Island of California by Dora Polk.  The explorers kept going up into the Gulf and assuming that there was a passage at the top out into the Pacific.  Meanwhile explorers were working thei way up the coast trying to find the passage from that end.  You have two major inlets on the west coast ... the San Francisco bay and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Can you imagine their excitement each time they started going east ?

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