Only one copy of the world wall map has survived.

The large wall map is printed on twelve sheets of paper, each about 23 x 17 inches . Because of this, almost every copy of the map made (about 1,000 copies, at least) has been lost.

Only one copy of the world wall map has survived. It is not from the original printing of 1507 but rather is from a later printing, probably in 1516, as shown by a detailed study of the map made in the mid-1980s by Elizabeth Harris (Harris 1985).

Although no example of the original map survives, its importance in the history of mapmaking is evident. The wall map was copied by other mapmakers, for example Oronce Finé, Petrus Apianus, Gemma Frisius, and Sebastian Münster, insuring that the name "America" on maps would be perpetuated.

In a letter written in 1508 to his former teacher, Gregor Reisch, Waldseemüller writes: "as thou knowest principally by my labor, although many others here and there falsely take credit of it, we have lately composed, drawn, and printed a map of the entire earth, in the form of the globe as well as of a planisphere, which is making its way over the world not without glory and praise" (Karpinski 1930, 666).

magnifying glass Under the Magnifying Glass

The Wall Map


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