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Map of Maldives - Abraham Ortelius 1570

Abraham Ortelius (Abraham Ortels) (April 2, 1527 – June 28, 1598) was a Flemish cartographer and geographer, generally recognised as the creator of the first modern atlas.

On 20 May 1570, Gilles Coppens de Diest at Antwerp issued Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the "first modern atlas" of 53 maps. Three Latin editions of this (besides a Dutch, a French and a German edition) appeared before the end of 1572; twenty-five editions came out before Ortelius' death in 1598; and several others were published subsequently, for the atlas continued to be in demand till about 1612. Most of the maps were admittedly reproductions - a list of 87 authors is given in the first Theatrum by Ortelius himself, growing to 183 names in the 1601 Latin edition.
Wikipedia April 2009

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