Sixteenth-Century Bulge on the Coast of Chile

A. Terry Bahill (Systems and Industrial Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ 85704, USA)

Article ID: 4357



This paper traces the sixteenth-century addition and removal on maps of a bulge on the southern coast of Chile. Abraham Ortelius was primarily responsible for these changes and many cartographers followed his lead.Then, Ortelius rotated the coastline of Chile from northwest to north. Later, he dropped the latitude of the islands of San Pablo and Isla de los Tiburones down six degrees. He named the Amazon River “Río de las amazons.” Finally, he removed the cities with fake Native-American-sounding names along the Pacific coast of North America. The research underlying this paper examined over seven-hundred sixteenth-century maps made by sixdozen cartographers. This paper cites five-dozen maps by four-dozen cartographers. In the traceability section of this paper, this information was condensed into a traceability diagram, which shows the chronological flow of information among a score of cartographers. Using this information, this paper traced the influence of one cartographer on another: it showed who influenced whom. It showed the spread of knowledge. Ortelius was at the center of most of this knowledge explosion.


Coast of Chile; Evolution of maps; Traceability; Sixteenth-century world maps; Nautical charts; Systems engineering

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