When most people think about the early explorers there are certain names and expeditions that come to mind immediately.

Great Conquerors

We tend to think of great conquerors such as Alexander the Great who travelled across the lands of Europe and even Asia.

We think of the route travelled by Marco Polo whose father had found a sea route to Asia.

We also think of the many explorers who tried to find a route to Asia that would accidentally take them across the ocean to what would later be known as the New World.

Many of the maps that these great explorers would chart would be used and expanded on by the next explorer in line.

Early Explorers

From Columbus navigating his way across the ocean and thinking he found Asia but, landing in what is now known as the West Indies to Vespucci who on his first trip trying to find a sea route to India also found the New World but had not realized it yet.

All the explorers who followed laid out maps and charts specific to their own expeditions.

By this time in history, Europe was completely mapped and much of Asia and Africa had also already been fully discovered if not fully explored.

Mid 1500s

It was not until the mid-1500’s when Magellan set out on his voyage to find a trans-ocean way to Asia that anyone had fully circumnavigated the entire world.

This, of course, opened even more doors for discovery and other explorers would follow his maps and charts to lay claim to bits and pieces of what is now modern-day Canada and the United States.

These maps allowed others to follow behind and make the most important discoveries of the times.

Without the work of the great explorers the New World would have remained a secret for much longer than it ultimately did.