Bizarre transformation of the North American Continent: 16th through 19th centuries

KorbenDallas

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#1
There are many similar definitions of what a map is. This is just one of those, "A description of the earth, or some particular part thereof, projected upon a plain superficies; describing the form of countries, rivers, situation of cities, hills, woods, and other remarks." Single maps are often included within a bundle of maps comprising a geographical atlas.

We are going to look at some very old maps. The general opinion of today's scientists is that cartographers of the past were some sort of practical jokers. Here is what National Geographic says, "Inventing cities, mountains, and monsters to fill the empty spaces on maps is a centuries-old tradition in cartography." This is very similar to how the appearance of the old maps was explained to me, when I went to school.

Obviously some of the older maps have purely decorative meaning in our today's life. Do we think that maps served decorative purposes back in the day when GPS systems were not available? I believe at the time of their creation, those maps were nothing but a useful tool upon which the lives of seafarers (and other navigators) depended. Saying obvious things is ridiculous, but maps were always used for navigation prior to the emergence of GPS. Under certain circumstances they are being used nowadays. And for that, they have to be as accurate as possible. Accuracy does not include making up lands, rivers, cities and other objects.

Clearly there could be a "bad apple" cartographer now and then. If there was only one person creating maps, it could be easy to fool people with false information. But as the history shows there were multiple people contributing to the creation of the maps in the past. And when you have thousands of ships sailing the world, it would not take long for the truth to come out.

This is preposterous to think that cartographers, and map makers of the past would willingly place any false information on a map.
  • First of all, it would not take long for one of those seafarers sent (in a flimsy wooden ship) to explore some fantasy world created by a malicious cartographer to come back. I could only imagine what a captain of some ship, who spent a couple of years at sea, would do to such a cartographer. It's not hard to understand that false maps could spell death under certain circumstances.
  • And secondly, it is simply bad for business. Who would buy your maps, if they cannot be used for their only purpose?
How long would you use a GPS which is 50 miles off, or simply displays non-existent roads? In reality, this is what happens to some people when their navigation system provides as much as inaccurate information.

GPS_disaster_1.jpg GPS_disaster_3.jpg GPS_disaster_4.jpg

Yet, we are being spoon fed this non-sense about creative fantasy of the cartographers of the past. At the same time, when you look at the 16th, 17th, 18th century maps, you can't help it but notice, that continents looked very different. And our traditional scientists limited by their dogmatic teachings found an explanation. In their opinion, the smartest minds of the past were faking the world geography. My opinion is insignificant, but I disagree.

Not going to talk about the map making process itself, but if you are interested - The Cartographic Process - there you go.

* * * * *
Let us take a look at how the North American continent was changing its outline with time. I just picked up a few maps pertaining to different time frames to illustrate the changes. Please notice obvious visual attributes shared by the suggested groups. It also appears there was enough time to notice a map discrepancy. Yet the maps stay consistent through out their respective time frames.

1570 - 1611 - 1630 - 1642 - 1652

1570 Typus Orbis Terrarum..jpg 1611 - Pieter van den Keeres 1611.png 1630 Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica ac Hydrographica Tabula..jpg 1642 Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Geographica Ac Hydrographica Tabula.jpg 1652 Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis geographica ac hydrographica tabula.jpg

The above maps are the last ones to contain Hyperborea.

1200px-Mercator_Septentrionalium_Terrarum_descriptio.jpg

1664 - 1682 - 1700 - 1714 - 1716 - 1744

1664_Nova_et_Accuratissima_Terrarum_Orbis_Tabula.png 1682 Nova Orbis Tabula, in Lucem Edita, A.F. de Wit.jpg 1700 Planisphaerium terrestre cum utroque coelesti hemisphaerio.jpg 1714 Mappe monde  Suivant les nouvelles observations de Messrs..jpg 1716 Planiglobii Terrestris Cumutroq Hemisphaerio Calesti..jpg 1744 Planisphaerium coeleste. A.C. Seutter delin. Andr. Silbereisen Sculps.jpg

1750 - 1752 - 1762 - 1762
(Mer de l'Ouest)


1750 par Joseph-Nicolas Delisle.jpg 1752_carte_generale_fonte.jpg 1762 by J D Robert Janvier..jpg 1762_map.jpg
Note: "Mer de l'Ouest ("Western Sea"), originally the goal of exploration during the French regime, was the stuff of wishful thinking obligingly corroborated by Indians. Initially thought to be an inland sea somewhere west of the Great Lakes, it gradually blended in imagination with the Pacific." - enjoy the official version.

1772 - 1785

1772_Vaugondy_-_Diderot_Map_of_North_America_^_the_Northwest_small.jpg 1785 Zatta Map of North America_1.jpg

1796 - 1803 - 1815 - 1831 - 1852

1796-Reid_John.png 1803-malte-brun.png 1815_Brue_Adrien Hubert.png 1831_Finley_Anthony.png 1852 The World At One View.jpg

I think there is an obvious, and consistent transition from one continental outline to the next. Sure enough, it is more convenient to explain the above transformation with the official speculative theory provided in the very beginning of this article. Personally, I doubt that cartographers of the old were making stuff up. Obviously there could be a certain degree of error, but not to the point of ridiculous re-carving of the map.

* * * * *​

What if continents looked exactly the way they were depicted on the above maps? Could something cause the water levels to rise?

Just may be, the North American continent suffered a catastrophic event (along with the rest of the World). Map makers and Cartographers were desperately trying to reflect on the current state of things while the N. A. Continent was still changing its outline. In the 19th century the outline finally stabilized.

Could it be an event, or events similar in scale to ones which caused the below?
 
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Hardy

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#2
Ever since this post i will look at the historical maps with brand new eyes, it's like a spell was taken from my perception. Actually i'm also a little bit baffled about the way the data of the maps were collected.At first research the practical historical way of surveying to get the outlines from whole continents seem to be also nebulous. There seem to be also a lack of information about the practical way and used Instruments but i must enlarge upon this aspect. I have a little background as surveyor and i find it very difficult to do, even with modern electro optical distance metering. I know methods like triangulation or mechanical ways for angles and distances but i can surmise the difficulties if i ignore Aerial Image methods ( possibility to fly o_O).

Thereby i had to think about those threads in the Forum :

James Cox's peacock clock presented to Catherine II in 1781
60,000 pieces, 240 years old. Jaquet-Droz's dolls still write, draw, and play music
 
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humanoidlord

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#3
this is very scary, what in the hell can "fix" the old america shape, separate california and then re-integrate it, create and then drain a huge lake in west USA and then turn alaska from a bunch of bizzarely shaped islands to its current shape?
its almost like something sentient was manipulating earths shape drasticaly before finnaly chosing an shape
 

KorbenDallas

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#4
There seem to be also a lack of information about the practical way and used Instruments but i must enlarge upon this aspect. I have a little background as surveyor and i find it very difficult to do, even with modern electro optical distance metering. I know methods like triangulation or mechanical ways for angles and distances but i can surmise the difficulties if i ignore Aerial Image methods ( possibility to fly o_O).
This thing gets me as well. Those overachievers of the past would need a huge army of surveyors to accomplish what they did. No aerial imaging was available. I do not even think it was possible. Just look at the 17th century map of Africa. That was clearly impossible with the technology attributed to those people.

this is very scary, what in the hell can "fix" the old america shape, separate california and then re-integrate it, create and then drain a huge lake in west USA and then turn alaska from a bunch of bizzarely shaped islands to its current shape?
its almost like something sentient was manipulating earths shape drasticaly before finnaly chosing an shape
Looks like the continent submerged and then the water receded. Of course the emergence of the Hudson Bay does bring up some questions. Something happened for sure. I have this weird feeling that whoever knows the truth is not planning on sharing it with us.
 

Falkes

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#5
I always thought since I first saw a map that it appears like a giant explosion of some sort went off in the Hudson bay / North Passage area. It just makes no sense for so many explorers and sailors to have been able to map the other side of the North American continent but strangely didn't find a giant open space like the Hudson bay until centuries later.
 

ion.brad

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#6
Here started mud flood topic on October 2017 with eight pages information and a lot of pictures, including maps: link. Look at those inclined towers from Ireland and how a town with a new name is built on the ruins of an other town, with a different name! As you can see, no grave before 1690! The officials know if a metal detector use is forbidden in Ireland and the japanese offer to build a metro in Dublin was rejected!

As Korben stated, no cartographer will be in bussiness after making a few false maps! I think that, beside the angry seafarers, he or she will have to face those who financed the seafarers!
 

KorbenDallas

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#7
I always thought since I first saw a map that it appears like a giant explosion of some sort went off in the Hudson bay / North Passage area. It just makes no sense for so many explorers and sailors to have been able to map the other side of the North American continent but strangely didn't find a giant open space like the Hudson bay until centuries later.
Agreed. Hudson Bay (or rather it's absence on the early maps), in my opinion, is a huge point to consider when contemplating on the entire topic.
 

humanoidlord

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#8
This thing gets me as well. Those overachievers of the past would need a huge army of surveyors to accomplish what they did. No aerial imaging was available. I do not even think it was possible. Just look at the 17th century map of Africa. That was clearly impossible with the technology attributed to those people.



Looks like the continent submerged and then the water receded. Of course the emergence of the Hudson Bay does bring up some questions. Something happened for sure. I have this weird feeling that whoever knows the truth is not planning on sharing it with us.
something was"molding" the continent
 

in cahoots

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#9
Some of the French maps here indicate information-sharing with Russians. Other maps will be written in Spanish, but include names of French explorers. So clearly there is at least some communication among explorers and map-makers over this period. We also see, particularly on the maps between 1664-1762, that some shorelines are hatched, while others are solid lines. This seems to be a mapmaker's way of saying, "Uhh, maybe?" to refer to uncertain, conflicted, or not-yet-fully-explored or dubious continental lines. any of these explorers and colonists were in competition with each other. It is possible there is a degree of misinformation and one-upmanship that took place when drawing maps during this time. And on maps of continental scale, small errors seem totally tolerable. The real art of navigation must take place on the fly, I'm guessing.

As a bit of devil's advocacy, it seems possible to me that well-meaning men, doing the most they could with varied & limited firsthand information, accounts for some of the changes. I'm reminded of a phrase in modern science: "Publish or perish". If I need to sell my maps to earn my bread, am I going to just... not publish maps when the information is uncertain? Seems like a decent business move to "fill in the blanks" and generate excitement about unknown parts of the world. Around 1716, it seems like some mapmaker's are beginning to "admit" their uncertainties, no longer detailing areas north of 50th parallel for which there is just not enough information. On the other hand, this could also be the emergence of certain political attitudes around how the new world "ought to" look.

Another aspect of modern science which may compare to the map economy is the criterion of "sufficient interest". Even with excellent quality research, if the results are not deemed sufficiently interesting or different from what is already known, the paper will not be published. We can actually see this process shaping the very nature of science over the past century. It is common for new research to totally upend years of scholarship taken for fact for decades.

@Hardy your comment regarding modern prospecting is really interesting to me. If it's a challenge now, imagine what a project it would have been 250 years ago, when we could not even see the entirety of the places we were trying to map out!
 

KorbenDallas

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#10
Some of the French maps here indicate information-sharing with Russians. Other maps will be written in Spanish, but include names of French explorers. So clearly there is at least some communication among explorers and map-makers over this period. We also see, particularly on the maps between 1664-1762, that some shorelines are hatched, while others are solid lines. This seems to be a mapmaker's way of saying, "Uhh, maybe?" to refer to uncertain, conflicted, or not-yet-fully-explored or dubious continental lines. any of these explorers and colonists were in competition with each other. It is possible there is a degree of misinformation and one-upmanship that took place when drawing maps during this time. And on maps of continental scale, small errors seem totally tolerable. The real art of navigation must take place on the fly, I'm guessing.

As a bit of devil's advocacy, it seems possible to me that well-meaning men, doing the most they could with varied & limited firsthand information, accounts for some of the changes. I'm reminded of a phrase in modern science: "Publish or perish". If I need to sell my maps to earn my bread, am I going to just... not publish maps when the information is uncertain? Seems like a decent business move to "fill in the blanks" and generate excitement about unknown parts of the world. Around 1716, it seems like some mapmaker's are beginning to "admit" their uncertainties, no longer detailing areas north of 50th parallel for which there is just not enough information. On the other hand, this could also be the emergence of certain political attitudes around how the new world "ought to" look.

Another aspect of modern science which may compare to the map economy is the criterion of "sufficient interest". Even with excellent quality research, if the results are not deemed sufficiently interesting or different from what is already known, the paper will not be published. We can actually see this process shaping the very nature of science over the past century. It is common for new research to totally upend years of scholarship taken for fact for decades.

@Hardy your comment regarding modern prospecting is really interesting to me. If it's a challenge now, imagine what a project it would have been 250 years ago, when we could not even see the entirety of the places we were trying to map out!
Just like I said before, we were very successful interpreting actions of the people in the past. Some things are easier to justify than the others. How do you explain the African thing here?
 

Hardy

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#11
@ in cahoots
Korben and you said it right and short, it needs an army of surveyors -no,zero,null chance for a lone wolf in an unknown terrain in wild nature.Even with an Army i have my big doubts. I've done mostly some topographic work on a small level - in the 80th with 'primitive' equipment that means prisma for rectangularity, ranging pole and tape rule. 'Katastervermessung' moves in between well Koordinated measuring points. Funny enough, before that- after the war- they even dont had a rule tape but only measuring laths. Theodolits for exact angle measuring were avaible .
In the 90th every engineering office could work with electro optical instruments for angles, distances and EDV . (later GPS) Before that all data must been noted by hands! Anyway, i know what it means to work in rough terrain and that' a joke against a kompletely unknown terrain with snakes and unicorns:sick:. In the higher measuring net we could only work in the winter because of the visual range - Bushes and trees blocked the view.
Churches are always used for important measuring point....and so on...a brief glimp in the difficulties. Perhaps just this: There is a way (exact enough for Topographie in some case) to get distances on a optical way but somebody must race about with a vertical lath on the other site
of the station. Without walky talky that means:EYYYYYYYYYY, Go on - WHAT?

distanz.png
 
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Hardy

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#13
The problem is alike to the 'similar'style buildings all over the world.I answer with a Korben Dallas quote:
"Do we wonder who made thousands of windows in the 18th (17th, 19th) century, or where mountains of bricks (block shaped stones) came from. Where roofing materials came from, or who sculptured those stairwell posts making them 100% identical? Wondering observer might spend a moment thinking about all those things. Most people will not not....In other words, it is impossible to build anything of that magnitude without infrastructure, and trained, skilled construction workers of various positions."

https://www.stolenhistory.org/threa...world-were-they-built-by-our-civilization.22/
 

KorbenDallas

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#14
Lol Hardy, that’s a good one.

So naturally this is a vicious circle we are stuck with...
 
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