Friday, September 23, 2011

The First Map of America

I am in the midst of a Google National Geographic institute here in D.C. this weekend.  Besides getting to do Google Earth and Sketch Up we have been given a bag of goodies.  One of them is a book called "The Fourth Part of the World" by Toby Lester.  Perhaps I had been living too much under my "tech rock," but it is a fascinating story (so far) of the Waldseemueller map which gave us the name of America (Amerigo Vespucci).  Certainly we all teach that in world and US history, but the book starts off recounting how while Columbus made it to the islands first, Vespucci said he made it to the mainland one year before Columbus - and now I'm hooked.  If you are interested in a short (3 page history of this map - see above) summary of the map, click here.   I also included a very short video by the author on the map. Finally here is a Google Literature link which includes a Google Earth view of the trip. 

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