Weekly Writing #3: Summarizing Wood

Maps are a way for us to see the world in new way that we have never seen before. Since most of us will never travel most of the surface of the Earth, maps give us insight into our world. But for most of human history, maps as we know them barely existed. The mighty empires and great societies of the ancient world governed without maps. But first, let us define what is a map? A map is a projection of what Earth’s surface looks like and is key to development of modern states and societies. However, some scholars argue that maps have always been used in human history. However, maps have been a recent phenomenon. Talking and mapping are two forms of communication. When society is basic and close, there is no need to craft maps. However, as society grows and complexities develop, maps become more and more important to communicate with members in a society on taxation, political boundaries, etc. By the seventeenth century, empires around the world began mapping their possessions. Thus the beginning of modern mapping emerges for the growing usage of maps from weather to traffics delays to county boundaries. Some historians believe the history of the map dates to the dawn of civilization where the Greeks and the Romans furthered its development which led to Europeans rediscovering the progress creating the map boom. However, even though the oldest map that still survives is of Babylonian origin, it is not the origin of modern map making. The ideas of these maps were never built on by the Greeks or Romans rather Europeans independently developed the idea for the purposes of managing nations. This leads us to an important point in the fact that maps didn’t really exist prior to 1400-1500s. Simply, societies at the time didn’t need maps to govern themselves and communicate those ideas.


Maps are a tool to see the world in a new way. Maps are a new to human history. As a society becomes larger and complex, maps become common.

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