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An Interactive Astrological Calendar from 1544 for Google Earth
|| 8/11/2007 || 11:49 pm || Comments Off on An Interactive Astrological Calendar from 1544 for Google Earth || ||

Right click on the image below to download the .kmz file [3 mb] for Google Earth:

The other day when I was developing the Eastern Hemisphere version, I thought it would be neat to see what the calendar would look like in Google Earth. By using the image overlay function I was able to wrap the entire calendar over the surface of the earth. The result is a very unique way to interactively view the calendar in 3D.

Continue reading:

First off, when looking directly at the calendar, NASA’s “Blue Marble” makes the earth appear to be slightly hidden with in calendar. Almost as if the calendar is larger than the earth itself. The original version of the calendar had the earth in the center because at the time of it’s creation the earth was the center of the universe. Also, the shading that was done to the satellite image before I obtained it makes the earth appear to have more depth. This appearance of depth makes the earth appear to be in 3D more than I originally intended, but am quite pleased with the outcome.

Secondly, the process for wrapping a recangle around a sphere was previously explored when I created tessellations for Polar Coordinate function in Photoshop. The result in Google Earth is that the calendar is stretched laterally to create an oval, instead of a circle. This stretching makes the concentric circles harder to follow, but not so much that the calendar’s function is minimized. The stretching forces to the user to explore the edges of the earth to see how & where the astrological signs line up.

Overall, I am quite pleased with how this turned out and am excited about using Google Earth as a means to display some of my future maps. Honestly, I have not used Google Earth in a very, very long time, so to start using it again means I should have some interesting maps coming up!

Screenshots from Google Earth:

For those without Google Earth:

Press + to zoom in!

The Original:

From the Library of Congress:

Agnese Atlas
Between 1536 and 1564 an enterprising Genoese chartmaker, Battista Agnese, produced in Venice a number of remarkably accurate and beautifully decorated nautical or “portolan” atlases on vellum for merchant princes and ranking officials. A version of this oval world map appeared in each of the seventy-one such atlases that have survived.

Agnese liked to show new discoveries and explorations of his maps, and this one includes the route that Magellan took around the world, inscribed in pure silver that later tarnished. He also traced, in pure gold, the route from Cadiz, Spain, to Peru, with overland portage across the Isthmus of Panama. This was the route of the treasure ships — heavily armed galleons that carried vast amounts of silver from Peru to Spain.

On the Agnese map continents are in yellow and green watercolors, mountains in brown, white, and silver, rivers (including the legendary sources on the Nile) in blue, and the Red Sea and Gulf of California in red. (In 1539 the explorer Francisco de Ulloa, noting that the water in the Gulf of California had a reddish tint, named it the Vermilion Sea to distinguish it form the Red Sea.)

In the blue-and-gold clouds surrounding the oval world are cherubs, or wind heads, representing the classical twelve-point winds from which modern compass directions evolved. The symbolic treatment of winds first occurred in world maps of the tenth century on which the windblowers are portrayed as human figures seated on Aeolus bags. With one hand they hold trumpets or horns, and with the other they squeeze the wind out of the bags. This symbolism was at least as old as Homer, who wrote of Aeolus, the son of Hippotes, god and father of the winds and ruler of the island of Aeolia. Figures of old men, cherubs, or angels as windblowers, with or without Aeolus bags, were popular illustrations on maps up to the eighteenth century. In some cases the facial expression and size of the blast emerging from the mouth told a great deal about the wind, without further explanation.

The portolan atlas containing this world map was drawn in Venice in 1543-44. It was originally prepared for and dedicated to Hieronimus Ruffault, abbot of the Benedictine monastery of St. Vaast and St. Adrian in Arras, a French city of Gallo-Roman origin. The map is also known to have been in the library of the old Hanseatic League town of Wernigerode, Germany, in 1916, to have subsequently been offered for sale by Otto Lange in Florence, and to have been in the possession of Lathrop Harper in New York. It was acquired by the Library of Congress in 1943.

Bibliography:

Agnese Atlas
[Portolan atlas of 9 charts and a world map, etc. Dedicated to Hieronymus Ruffault, Abbot of St. Vaast].

Agnese, Battista, 16th cent.

CREATED/PUBLISHED
[ca. 1544]

NOTES
Manuscript, pen-and-ink and watercolor, on vellum.

REPOSITORY
Library of Congress Geography and Map Division Washington, D.C. 20540-4650 USA

CALL NUMBER
G1001 .A4 1544

Also see:
An Updated Astrological Calendar from 1544 – Eastern Hemisphere
An Updated Astrological Calendar from 1544 – Western Hemisphere

Related Globes:

Related to Google Earth:



Post Title: An Interactive Astrological Calendar from 1544 for Google Earth
Post Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in: Antique, Astronomy, Globe, Google Earth, Interactive, Library of Congress, Location, Middle East, Renderings, Space, World, Zodiac
Last edited by Nikolas Schiller on 8/28/2009 at 8:27 pm



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