Some of the earlieast known examples of maps-in the form of Babylonian tablets -are egyptian land drawings and paintings discovered in early tombs.However,in 1961 a town plan of Catalhoyuk in turkey was unearthed,painted on a wall.featuring houses and the peak of a volcano,it is around 8,500 years old.
The sixth-century tablet known as Imago Mundi shows Babylon on the euphrates,with cities on a circular land mass,surrounded by a river.Some maps are known as T and O maps.In one ,illustrating the inhabited world in Roman times,T represents the Mediterranean,dividing the continents,Asia,Europe,and Africa,and O is the surrounding Ocean.The T and O Hereford Mappa Mundi of 1300,drawn on a single sheet of vellum,includes writing in black ink and water painted green,with the Red Sea colored red.
Greek scholars developed a spherical Earth theory using astronomical observations to justify this practice.
In the first century C.E.,Ptolemy,an astronomer and mathematician,developed a reference-line principle.His Guide to Geography lists 8,000 locations with their approximate latitudes and longitudes.However,Ptolemy underestimated the size of the earth.His suggestion that india could be reached by travelling westbward resulted in columbus underestimating the distance centuries later.Cartography greatly benefited from a wealth of corrective information brought to Europe by Macro Polo in the thirteenth century.
The 1891 international Geographical congress established specifications for a scale map of the world.