17th Century Precursors of Google Maps on View at Georgia Tech

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  • Ken Knoespal Ken Knoespal

Featuring a vast collection of illustrative world maps compiled in the 1660s, "A Gathering of Continents" has come to Georgia Tech's Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking for a limited time only. Global Atlanta featured a conversation with Ken Knoespal, professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, who played a significant role in bringing the exhibition to campus.

“There’s a real sense of this being current,” said Dr. Knoespel, who compared Duth cartographer Joan Blaeu’s telescopic approach to Google Earth technology. Many pages offer detailed glimpses into the architectural and agricultural layout of major cities and regions that serve as a “zoom-in” function for a pre-digital society.

“Google Earth, Google Blaeu,” Dr. Knoespel joked. “You can enter the space.”

The exhibition features a 17th Century Grooten Atlas, one of only a few still left in existence, and will be on display at the Museum of Papermaking until May 15, 2015.

“Every time I come in here I can see something I haven’t seen before,” Dr. Knoespel said with a grin. “Where does that road go? It’s not just museum material. It opens history and opens the way we think about space today.”

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Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, School of Literature, Media, and Communication

atlas, exhibit, Global Atlanta, Grooten, Knoespal, map, papermaking
  • Created By: Beth Godfrey
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Apr 14, 2015 - 8:14am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 10:27pm