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Welcome to the website of the International Cartographic AssociationJune’s Map of the Month: World atlas in Polish and Braille
Welcome to the website of the International Cartographic Association
June’s Map of the Month is a world atlas in Polish and Braille
Map of the Month 05/2014: Physical Geography of Ukraine
Map of the Month 04/2014: Back in time feature on Géoportail

Map of the Month 4/2010: Portolan Charts

The ICA is proud to feature the third Map of the Month:
Les cartes portolanes. La representació medieval d’una mar solcada
– Portolan Charts. The Medieval Representation of a Ploughed Sea

At the 24th International Cartography Conference in Santiago, Chile, the work was the Winner of the public vote. Congratulations!

Publisher’s Description: Portolan charts were a very useful tool for Christian merchants who sailed the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Mallorca was particularly active in the production of these charts for international trade, as well as Catalonia, Genoa, Sicily, Valencia and Venice.

The book began as a doctoral thesis and it has become the job of a lifetime. Ramon J. Pujades, the author, took twelve years to collect, examine and contextualize the whole material that exist about portolan cartography or medieval nautical cartography produced before 1470. It contains a large amount of unpublished material.

The result is the work “Les cartes portolanes. La representació medieval d’una mar solcada” (Portolan charts. The medieval representation of a ploughed sea), published by the Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya and jointly edited with the Institut d’Estudis Catalans and the Institut Europeu de la Mediterrània.

All the material of the book is available on the DVD included in the work. It contains 334 images, many of which are partially or totally unpublished. So far, the most reproduced charts and, therefore, the best known are the luxury ones, those with more decorative elements, which have been preserved. But the author believes that those are not authentic medieval nautical cartography. The real portolan charts were those used every day, getting wet on the ships and, due to extreme use conditions, became deteriorated and were thrown away.

  • Number of sheets: 526
  • Size (mm): 360 x 280
  • Authors: Pujades i Bataller, Ramon J.
  • Publisher: Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya
  • Date of edition: 31/10/2007
  • Languages: Catalan, English

More information:
Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya: www.icc.cat

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