January 2017 issue of Maps in History


The January 2017 issue of magazine Maps in History, published by the Brussels Map Circle, has been  mailed out. The PDF will be made freely available after 12 months at the magazine’s website.

The latest issue includes two research articles about the 18th-century detailed mapping of the Austrian Netherlands, a piece of land that roughly corresponds to today’s Belgium. The famous “Ferraris maps” of the 1770s has been the object of a PhD dissertation by Soetkin Vervusts, who has analyzed their production process and their geometric accuracy.  The much less known but earlier and equally fascinating “Villaret map” is presented by Georges Vande Winkel. A comparison of the two sets of maps reveals the dramatic change that the Belgian landscape went through in the roughly 30 years that separate the two cartographic surveys.

The table of contents follows below.


  • When Italy drew the world – Cartographic treasures of the Italian Renaissance (Alex Smit)

Looks at books

  • Joan Binimelis, Vicenç Mut and the wall maps of Majorca (17th – 18th centuries) (Luis A. Robles Macías)
  • Universal Cosmography according to both ancient and modern navigators by Guillaume Le Testu (Chstiane de Craecker-Dussart)
  • Treasures from the Map Room (Nicholas Boothby)
  • Giovanni Antonio Rizzi Zannoni (Alex Smit)
  • Philippe Vandermaelen, Mercator de la jeune Belgique (Wulf Bodenstein)

History and Cartography

  • Studying the production process of the Ferraris Maps (1770s) and its implication for geometric accuracy (Soetkin Vervust)
  • The Villaret Map (Georges Vande Winkel)
  • Other Villaret Maps (Jean-Louis Renteux)

How I Got Into Cartography

  • Interview with David Raes (Nicola Boothby)

Plus short reports from several other exhibitions and conferences, calendar of upcoming events and much more…

Latest issue of Maps in History

The Brussels Map Circle publishes the magazine Maps in History three times per year. Issues are mailed to members in print and made available online 12 months after publication at the magazine’s website.

The magazine contains fixed sections and a variable number of articles. The fixed sections are book reviews, news and, since some time ago, an interview with someone who explains “How I got into cartography”.

The latest issue, September 2016, includes three noteworthy articles: a concise account of the recent workshop on the origin of portolans, which was attended by six members of the Circle; a research article on a Dutch map of Cape of Good Hope, and finally a report of a study trip to Rome organized by members of the Circle around the topic of Lafreri atlases (also known as IATO atlases). I envy my colleagues who had the privilege of visiting numerous Italian cartographic treasures and listening to talks by world-class specialists.

The complete table of contents follows below.


  • IATO ATLASES Symposium. 4 – 7 May 2016 Academia Belgica, Rome

Looks at books

  • Hautes-Fagnes. Cartographie ancienne. Enseignements des cartes anciennes pour servir l’histoire du haut plateau fagnard et retracer l’évolution de ses paysages (Christiane De Craecker-Dussart)
  • Mapping the Roads – Building Modern Britain (Nicola Boothby)
  • Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) Life · Work · Sources and Friends (Jan De Graeve)
  • The Pre-Siege Maps of Malta, Second Century AD – 1564 (Wulf Bodenstein)

History and Cartography

  • First International Workshop On the origin and evolution of portolan charts (Jean-Louis Renteux)
  • Seller’s ‘Draught of Cape Bona Esperanca’: deliberate Dutch disinformation? (Roger Stewart)

How I Got Into Cartography

  • Interview with Nick Millea (Nicola Boothby)