Toponymy and the History of Cartography

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Richardson, W A R
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Royal Australian Historical Society
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Within the last few years historians of cartography have become increasingly aware of the potential value of toponymy for the elucidation of early cartographical enigmas. One of the most notorious of these is the real identity of the apparent continent of Jave-la-Grande which figures exclusively on a number of French manuscript maps made in Dieppe in the mid-sixteenth century. Its position south of Java gave rise to the understandable supposition that it was an inaccurate, primitive map of Australia, since Australia is the only landmass that really does exist very approximately in that position. The east coast of Jave-la-Grande, though vaguely similar to Australia's east coast, has one feature which conspicuously fails to correspond to any on Australia's east coast, namely the huge triangular projection of cap de fremose. Only the most vivid imagination can find any resemblance whatsoever between the two west coasts.
Maritime history, Maritime navigation, Cartography, Mapmaking, Australia, Bill Richardson
Richardson, W.A.R. 1992. Toponymy and the History of Cartography. Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, 78 (1&2), 125-129.