While map making in the previous centuries was of vital importance and could mean the difference between life and certain death for explorers, it was often a perilous way to make a living.
The vast majority of map makers did so as a way of charting their own progress and it was a laborious and intensive process. Taking rudimentary measurements with the appliances available to them at the time, was both time-consuming and difficult, and they would have been both amazed and awed at the tools we know use to chart the places we have been to, and those yet untouched by humans.
Navigating by the Stars
Navigation using the stars was an incredible example of man’s ingenuity, but ancient map makers and navigators would have never been able to comprehend that we would someday be able to place machines among those stars that would beam down information, so that we could simply look at our cell phones or GPS units and know exactly where we are on the planet, at any given time.
The ability to chart any area, even those yet to be explored, simply by taking multiple pictures from a satellite or using ground penetrating radar to map out areas under water, or even under the ice in Antarctica or Greenland, would have been beyond the comprehension of past generations – and for good reason.
Never in history have we had such a grasp on what is around, under or even above us.
Mapping Oher Planets
Not only can we map out what is on our own planet to an exacting degree, but we now have the technology to map out other planets and even moons of those planets.
We have seen pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope from the moons of Jupiter, and have pretty much completely mapped out our own Moon in graphic detail.