The art of map-making is centuries old, and it's still an active skill used today. Cartography combines the fields of science, art, technology, and literature to create beautiful and accurate maps. And the practice also encompasses the study and improvement of map making. Cartography literature can include maps, the science behind them, or even behind-the-scenes looks at navigation and map making.

The earliest map on record is dated around 6100 to 6300 B.C., and it was found in Anatolia. Ancient Greece had many map makers who undertook groundbreaking cartography. Greek cartographers were interested in the size and shape of the world, as well as the science it took to find that information. The ancient Romans used maps for military and political gain. They focused mainly on mapping within their empire.

In the 1500s, Gerardus Mercator first tried to display a round earth more accurately on a flat surface with his Mercator Map. Although his map was less accurate than some, it gained fame because it improved sea navigation dramatically. Although ancient maps may not be helpful for accuracy today, they are nonetheless important for the study and appreciation of cartography. Modern cartography utilizes computers and technology to provide the highest accuracy for modern maps. However, nothing can compare to the beauty of antique and vintage maps. Their vibrant colors and interesting graphics make them ideal for framing and hanging.

Whether your collecting niche is vintage cartography or modern navigation books, you're sure to view the world in a new way. Discover broadsheet and folding maps of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas as you navigate through our sellers' expansive collections. Sail the seven seas with first editions and rare vintage cartography finds on ship navigation. When you buy cartography literature from AbeBooks sellers, you'll find maps, ephemera, and research journals. What are you waiting for? Get out there and explore.