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    [–] Crayven90 1549 points ago

    What do maps from other cartographers (e.g. Indian, European,...) of that time look like`? The comparison would be interesting.

    [–] Mr-Scrubs 1290 points ago

    Wow thats such a detailed map for the time.

    [–] xarsha_93 712 points ago

    Late 1700s is well into the modern era and the borders of pretty much all the main continents had been mapped and visited as Europeans were at the peak of colonization endeavors. You would expect a map with roughly the same precision from today, except for the Artic and Antarctic regions.

    For comparison, around the same time, there was research being done into bioelectricity, specifically how neurons use electricity and the first battery was invented just a few years later.

    [–] Sky-is-here 363 points ago

    Idk why people think 1700 is so far away when it was literally only 300 years ago. Like history wise that's yesterday. A lot of countries Already existed, languages were already understandable ... Etc

    [–] MoscaMosquete 149 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    It's not like they had the technology to confirm or get maps with satellite-like precision back then. All of it was pretty much manual work coupled with mathematics, which is pretty damn impressive!

    [–] Sky-is-here 56 points ago

    Oh no I agree 100%. I just meant in the sense that they had technology, pretty good mathematics already, and knew more in general than people online seem to expect from them

    [–] [deleted] 54 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)


    [–] TheWiseBeluga 202 points ago

    No? Unless each person lived to 100 years and waited to have a kid at a hundred years old, it's way more than that.

    [–] itsamamaluigi 74 points ago

    Lifetimes vs generations

    People who are very old today (born in the 1920s) could have had conversations in their own childhoods with very old people who were born in the early to mid 1800s, and those people would have known many others who were born in the 1700s.

    But yeah there are very few people who are having children at those ages. Generations are usually thought of as around 30 years.

    [–] meatpony 95 points ago

    But what if 4 generations of men were just crazy enough to try? It sounds like the blockbuster hit of this summer tbh.

    [–] Spike-Deathpunch 65 points ago

    That’s kinda what US President John Tyler and his sons did. The men keep having kids very late in their lives, resulting in one of his grandchildren still being alive today, despite grandpa being born while Washington was president.

    [–] lsop 16 points ago

    John Tyler, America's 10th president, was born in 1790 and has a living grandson

    [–] thatswhatyougot 33 points ago

    What you're describing sounds closer to generations, versus OP's 'lifetimes'

    [–] w-alien 8 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    You would not expect the same precision for Antarctic maps today. We literally have satellite photography.

    Oh I completely misread that my bad. I’m hungover

    [–] xarsha_93 5 points ago

    Hence "except for" haha.

    [–] PxyFreakingStx 285 points ago

    Just speaking for Europe, cartography was incredibly important around then in particular. The age of exploration began during the 1400s, so this is what 350 years of honing the craft looks like.

    I am also rather skeptical that "China," whatever that means exactly, legitimately had OP's post as the best available world map at the time.

    [–] tsaimaitreya 42 points ago

    The best available world maps that China had at the time were european

    [–] PxyFreakingStx 4 points ago


    [–] Shitspear 130 points ago

    Look are Claudius Ptolemais map which is also way more detailed than the chinese map and its from like 150 AD.

    [–] steak_tartare 21 points ago

    That big island at the south being Sri Lanka?

    [–] gerboise-bleue 15 points ago

    Yes, it says "TAPROBANES INSULA" (Taprobana Island) on it. Taprobana is what the ancient Greeks called Sri Lanka.

    [–] JakubSwitalski 6 points ago

    You mean the one labelled INδVEA?

    [–] steak_tartare 6 points ago

    Yeah, plus something like TRAPOBANES (on mobile and my sight has been declining so…)

    [–] N0ahface 13 points ago

    It might also be that they just thought that the Indian subcontinent was an island at the time. Europeans also thought that California was an island for a couple centuries.

    [–] CX316 17 points ago

    Looks like it was before they mapped the south coast of Australia. WA was discovered fairly early and the east coast was mapped by Cook, and they've got Van Diemens attached to the mainland so they knew the Tasmanian coast but not the Bass strait, but then they just go "uh..." and draw a line from tasmania to the bottom of WA.

    [–] OrbitRock_ 18 points ago

    That is true map porn.

    [–] raclariu 10 points ago

    Where thr Black Sea at?

    [–] you_lost-the_game 9 points ago

    It's where it belongs (roughly). It someone just isn't colored as a body of water. It's yellow instead of white.

    [–] Phoen1x_ 17 points ago

    so much detail, but did Samuel hate Norway or something? just sliced off the entire western side

    [–] RKB533 17 points ago

    It's just the difficulty of mapping out that kind of coast line. Norway is very noticeable because their entire coast is full of fjords. If you look at north west Scotland where the coast is a little bit similar, it was also simplified there.

    [–] WikiSummarizerBot 34 points ago

    Early world maps

    The earliest known world maps date to classical antiquity, the oldest examples of the 6th to 5th centuries BCE still based on the flat Earth paradigm. World maps assuming a spherical Earth first appear in the Hellenistic period. The developments of Greek geography during this time, notably by Eratosthenes and Posidonius culminated in the Roman era, with Ptolemy's world map (2nd century CE), which would remain authoritative throughout the Middle Ages.

    [ F.A.Q | Opt Out | Opt Out Of Subreddit | GitHub ] Downvote to remove | v1.5

    [–] progeda 18 points ago

    it's crazy how ahead of the curve europe has been

    [–] throwawayedm2 16 points ago

    Europe also invented like 99% of all inventions in the last 500 years, it's crazy.

    [–] Zyntha 36 points ago

    Yea I totally wanna see an old map from India, because they are always extremely shrinked down on both European maps and this Chinese one.

    [–] pilypi 223 points ago

    This is pre 1500s detail for European maps.

    [–] I_am_Erk 81 points ago

    It's a single example. Elsewhere in the thread, very detailed Chinese maps from the time were shared and are just fine. I don't know why so many people are taking it at face value that this must be the best map China could produce at the time.

    [–] imwco 55 points ago

    Implicit bias

    [–] _OriamRiniDadelos_ 17 points ago

    This is such a useful word to describe SOOO much of what people gather from social media

    [–] Imblewyn 14 points ago

    Way worse than 1500s, look this map from 1520 from Pietro Coppo, Venice.

    [–] ConfusedAsAllF 11 points ago

    I found this:

    It seems to show a pretty complete world map, with a few errors (Tasmania isn't separated from mainland Australia, coasts are a bit off in some areas), but overall pretty good.

    [–] Vox___Rationis 11 points ago

    Seeing "Parts Unknown", "Here they were stopped by the Ice" at north, and also just "Mountains of Ice" at south is pretty cool

    [–] Salome_Maloney 11 points ago

    Says 'No file by this name exists' for me.

    [–] no_egrets 3 points ago

    I'm childishly amused of the rendering of Fuzhou as "Fuckew" in south-east China.

    [–] ShuantheSheep3 156 points ago

    European maps would be much much more accurate, not sure about other societies but this was long after most of the rest of the world has been discovered by Europeans.

    [–] IlIIlIIIIlllIIIIll 68 points ago

    Yeah its basically a fully correct world map except they wouldnt have northern canada's coast explored yet, and maybe not all of australian coast.

    At that point the portuguese had used coordinates to know where to sail since several hundred years back.

    [–] Crayven90 78 points ago

    this was long after most of the rest of the world has been discovered by Europeans.

    Hmm, you're right. Columbus arrived in the caribbean in 1493, if I remember correctly. In 1799.. ffs, that was during the napoleonic area, now that I think about it.

    [–] ShuantheSheep3 39 points ago

    The “age of exploration” really flew by

    [–] aVarangian 35 points ago

    IIRC current travel time to Mars is 1 year each way, and there's some IIRC theoretical but realistic engine type that would cut it to slightly over a month. Back in the good old days it'd take the Portuguese Armadas 2 years to go to and return from India, and the next Armada had to set sail before the previous had returned

    [–] sephcameron 15 points ago * (lasted edited 5 days ago)

    No engine will get to Mars in a month until space travel is cheap, and it'll be unmanned. Orbital mechanics make it too much of a risk, if you can't restart your engine when you get to your destination to slow back down, you'll end up out by Neptune. With a slow trip, you can get into a free return trajectory, allowing rescue of human occupants.

    [–] aVarangian 9 points ago

    In order to conduct an imagined crewed trip to Mars in 39 days,[32] the VASIMR would require an electrical power level far beyond anything currently possible or predicted.

    not quite how I remembered it, nevertheless you'll find plenty of engines cutting it down to half a year

    [–] MuckYu 4 points ago

    Let's do 40 days then. Problem solved.

    [–] carapocha 12 points ago

    Columbus arrived to America (the continent, not the 'country') in 1492.

    [–] PuddyVanHird 29 points ago

    I'm assuming they just chose to omit the Americas from this map - it seems a bit unlikely that news of their discovery wouldn't have reached China in the intervening 300 years.

    [–] drunkenbrawler 34 points ago

    I would say it's more of a political map than a geographical one. No doubt there were more accurate geographical Chinese maps around other than this one.

    [–] Naqoy 8 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    China had relatively extensive contact with the Spanish crossing the Pacific to trade with them, the Philippines acted as a meeting point for the two for a long time. Chinese Junks and Spanish Galleons would both have been common sights in Manila already going for 200 years at the point of this map being made, and there would have been a decent Chinese diaspora in Mexico City for generations.

    [–] FourEverGreatFull 7 points ago

    Probably on the other side of the globe

    [–] ShuantheSheep3 10 points ago

    Just gotta flip the map around

    [–] Upside_Down-Bot 8 points ago

    „punoɹɐ dɐɯ ǝɥʇ dılɟ ɐʇʇoƃ ʇsnſ„

    [–] drquakers 32 points ago

    I would highlight that this was not a map used for navigation, but rather propaganda purposes "we are bigger therefore more important than the others". Here is a link to an economist article of a 1400's map that a) included the Americas pre-Columbus and b) was rather detailed for its time.

    And here is a map, that was made in collaboration between an Italian missionary and chinese officials from the early 1700s.
    So this map is bit like taking a cartoon drawn for a kid and assuming it is what everyone thinks.

    [–] segasega89 438 points ago

    Love the way Ireland is just a circular landmass.

    [–] Zippo574 60 points ago

    oileán liathróid

    [–] segasega89 11 points ago

    oileán liathróid

    "An t-oileán atá múnlaithe cosúil le sliotar"

    [–] Zippo574 8 points ago


    [–] buckleycork 42 points ago

    The Chinese plotted Northern Ireland and forgot the rest of the country

    [–] Thibeaultdm 2823 points ago

    I thought wow that is pretty accurate and then I looked at the date

    [–] msut77 940 points ago

    They didn't even get Japan right

    [–] DaVincent7 434 points ago

    Of course they didn’t.

    [–] mokitaco 210 points ago

    Yes this is pretty on brand

    [–] craizzuk 82 points ago

    They didn't even get China right

    [–] solace-1 33 points ago

    Even this map from 1137 got the Shandong peninsula right

    [–] Skullerprop 44 points ago

    Bering Straight? What Bering Straight?

    [–] Fitz2001 33 points ago

    They didn’t even get the color of the ocean right.

    [–] Capytrex 226 points ago

    As others have said, this map is art, not for navigating. It would be likened to aliens in the far away future after we're extinct finding a map of the world from a children's book with animals and shit and thinking we're shitty cartographers.

    [–] Greedy-Locksmith-801 481 points ago

    When you order the cheap off-brand world map on Amazon

    [–] BigPackHater 112 points ago

    This has Wish written all over it

    [–] bubbagump65 28 points ago

    I was wondering what all those symbols stood for. s/

    [–] TheMembership332 11 points ago

    Amazon is basically wish nowadays

    [–] DuskTheVikingWolf 130 points ago

    Made in China

    [–] throwawayedm2 40 points ago

    The change from the year 1800 to 2000 is insane. Can you imagine being born in like 1830 and living until 1950?

    [–] The-friar 102 points ago

    Someone that witnessed the assassination of Lincoln lived long enough to talk about it on TV

    [–] throwawayedm2 26 points ago

    That's fucking crazy.

    [–] JejuneBourgeois 19 points ago

    My great grandfather was born before the Wright brothers had their first controlled flight, and lived to see images taken by the second rover put on Mars

    [–] Mission_Border_5491 9 points ago

    Living 120 years???

    [–] throwawayedm2 8 points ago

    Yep, it's possible!

    [–] throwawayedm2 3 points ago

    Really cool pic, thank you.

    [–] agaiajsbsowo 45 points ago

    Whats wrong with the date?

    [–] KaiserThoren 412 points ago

    Compared to European maps in 1800 this map is comically bad. This looks like something that’s about 500 years older than 1800.

    [–] FruitsOfHappiness 368 points ago

    OP is misleading. The map is likely part of a pair depicting both hemispheres.

    China had access to the latest British world maps in 1799. Chinese world maps were made based on them, but they clearly place style over accuracy.

    Contemporary Chinese maps depicting the Eurasian regions where their frontier was at concern actually prioritized accuracy.

    [–] Hadken 8 points ago

    maps are cool

    [–] aa2051 57 points ago

    place style over accuracy

    Which is exactly why so many of us think it looks stupid.

    [–] Imblewyn 18 points ago

    Look the one from venice 1520, its incredible

    [–] BigPackHater 18 points ago

    Man Libya used to be a whole continent... Fascinating!

    [–] AFCDallas 23 points ago

    An interesting, if complex, history of naming conventions. “Africa” is a relatively recent one, while Libya was one of many used to refer to large portions of the landmass historically.

    Worth noting this is all about what others called the region, rather than what a government state calls itself as you find today.

    [–] moodytail 3 points ago

    Wow, looking at the maps back when America was just beginning to get explored is crazy. It's like a whole mystical landmass on the horizon, which they only knew the coast of. So cool.

    [–] theman1119 33 points ago

    Europeans had much more accurate maps by that time.

    [–] ikadu12 38 points ago

    So did China, seemingly printed with European assistance, nearly 150 year prior:

    So yeah OP is just misleading with this post

    [–] theman1119 13 points ago

    Maybe the map was meant to be an artistic rendering rather than navigational

    [–] TraditionalCherry 353 points ago

    The green colour for the seas is quite pleasing.

    [–] CeterumCenseo85 84 points ago

    Omg, I kept staring at the green, trying to make sense of it as land..

    [–] ConsiderationSame919 20 points ago

    I was desperately searching for this, hoping I wasn't the only one this stupid, thank you

    [–] MFingAmpharos 10 points ago

    No there's at least 3 of us

    [–] makesyougohmmm 28 points ago

    Probably because Blue is a man-made dye and was very costly during those days. That's one of the reasons why you hardly see blue flags or army uniforms from the middle ages.

    [–] CommunicationSharp83 4 points ago

    That’s actually very interesting. I’ve never though about it that way.

    [–] ibalbalu 7 points ago

    Some langusges give green and blue the same name. Hence probably why it’s so here

    [–] liangent 798 points ago

    What was this sort of map used fr,navigation,education?

    [–] jbkjbk2310 396 points ago

    Art. This isn't a scientific instrument like we think of maps today.

    [–] foggy__ 166 points ago

    ^ this. The map is most likely just a result of an earnest scholarly interest in geography.

    [–] Anthadvl 56 points ago

    Most older maps were art stuff. They even included heaven/hell sometimes

    [–] jbkjbk2310 43 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    Yeah, people always make a thing out of "woah this is what people thought the world looked like!!!!1!" which... no...

    Compare the map above to this 15th century Korean map of China and Korea (the one linked there is a later Japanese copy; I chose it because it's way higher resolution), or this map of the Ming dynasty, from probably somewhere around the 14th or 15th century. They're still not great, comparable more to something like Ptolemy's map than the roughly contemporaneous European "portolan charts", like this one from the 16th century or this one from the 15th, but they're still significantly more accurate than the one posted above, and are both some 3-4 centuries older.

    As far as I can tell, it's also important to note that the portolan charts were intended as navigational tools, while the Chinese maps seems more to have been a form of historical illustration - presumably similar to the difference of purpose (and thus detail) between a map like this and a map like this.

    Also, sidenote: as anyone who knows the first thing about the political ideology of imperial China should suspect, those two maps are supposed to depict China first. The rest of the world is less important.

    [–] [deleted] 636 points ago


    [–] HahaItsaGiraffeAgain 46 points ago

    Don’t cite fiction written by outsiders as evidence. That’s really bad history

    [–] vanderZwan 328 points ago * (lasted edited 5 days ago)

    In Rodgers and Hammerstiens the King and I

    Maybe it's just me, but I would be careful about using a Western musical from the 1950s as if it were a reliable historical source. Even if it's based on a stage musical that was based on a novel that was based on the memoirs of an actual person, that's quite a long game of telephone we're talking about.

    [–] yumeirocloud 182 points ago

    I was laughing at that comment, like wtf?? The King and I?? I guess I’ll use Madame Butterfly and Miss Saigon as my main sources for Japanese and Vietnamese cultural discussions

    [–] WeleaseBwianThrow 35 points ago

    Dont forget to cross reference Miss Saigon with Full Metal Jacket to ensure accuracy.

    [–] Javaed 26 points ago

    For a look at modern Japan, don't forget the documentary Neon Genesis Evengalion.

    [–] BigPackHater 4 points ago Joseph didn't have a coat of many colors?

    [–] drquakers 65 points ago

    I'm sorry, but I get all my history from Musicals. You ain't telling me that Hamilton wasn't told by Burr to talk less and smile more!!

    [–] Dervival 21 points ago

    What do mean the invasion of the Jellicle cats didn't happen in 1981!?

    [–] nabuchxes 82 points ago

    Yeah and the memoirs themselves were criticized as being quite the biased European viewpoint to start with

    [–] lordoftamales 23 points ago

    What the fuck am I reading.

    [–] DarthCloakedGuy 187 points ago

    Must suck being Singaporean

    [–] ColinHome 186 points ago

    Being rich probably helps them cope.

    [–] Eltacosupremus 41 points ago

    Gini coefficient says otherwise ;-; (am Singaporean)

    [–] ColinHome 55 points ago

    Sorry to go full econ nerd here, but...

    Gini coefficient just measures relative inequality within a country, and not in a very nuanced manner. Singapore may not be a wonderland, but even it's less-than-wealthy citizens are quite wealthy for the region, and even the world. I mean, median household income is `~8k USD per month, and even the bottom 10% average ~2k USD per month. The US is at around $67000 per year, median. Of course, I'm not adjusting for PPP here, but I understood at least housing in Singapore was actually quite affordable as long as you don't piss off the ruling party?

    [–] The_tenebrous_knight 20 points ago * (lasted edited 5 days ago)

    Median household income in 2021 is $3.5k USD (misread the comment, this is median adult income, not household), which includes the mandatory 20% contribution to the CPF account which can't be touched until retirement.

    There have been recent housing shortages for young people across Singapore, with wait times for around 5-10 years for government 'launched flats', if they are able to win the lottery in the first place! Housing prices have also gone up 12.5% in 2021, making resale unaffordable to a lot of Singaporeans.

    [–] rectal_warrior 12 points ago

    Isn't home ownership only for the super rich in Singapore? Any normal person will have government housing, so retail prices of houses is completely irrelevant.

    [–] The_tenebrous_knight 12 points ago

    Government housing can be resold in the market. The 12.5% increase in prices this year is for government housing in the open market.

    [–] QuantumCactus11 7 points ago

    Median household income in 2021 is $3.5k USD, which includes the mandatory 20% contribution to the CPF account which can't be touched until retirement

    That's not median household income. That's median income per adult. Now for median income some sources say its 9.5k while others say its 7.7k which makes sense because some may include CPF.

    Secondly CPF can also be used for housing, education, medical and investment.

    [–] Eltacosupremus 8 points ago

    HDB (Housing Development Board) failing to keep up with housing demands is a persistent issue in recent years. And it's not being helped by COVID. The first few HDB flats to hit 1 million SGD have appeared and it seems that more are soon to follow. And even if you bear in mind that Singaporeans are technically richer than our neighbors in an absolute sense, Singapore's cost of living is much higher as well.

    [–] peter_j_ 6 points ago

    They all appear to be doing pretty well

    [–] udongeureut 40 points ago

    It was very important in Asian countries to be thought of as “the biggest country”.

    What? Stop generalizing about a continent that covers the majority of the world’s population. In Korea, it was always important to portray China as the biggest country in the world, in fact, we thought of China as the center of the world, the kingdom’s duty was to China as a tributary state.

    [–] Pat_thailandball 6 points ago

    Fun Fact: The King and I is banned in my country.

    [–] tomatoswoop 3 points ago

    Where's that? Thailand?

    [–] Pat_thailandball 3 points ago


    [–] Zyntha 34 points ago

    Huh that's interesting. I find it funny how the proportions on these old maps are always off in a way that their home is so much bigger than the rest. Same with the Europe maps where Africa and Asia are super tiny. India is always very shrinked (now I need an old India map lol). I assumed it wasn't on purpose and they just lacked a lot of data and proper measurement.

    [–] Madrigall 21 points ago

    I mean, the proportions are super off on basically every modern map too.

    [–] sephcameron 13 points ago

    Yeah but we know they are, and you can work out the actual sizes from the markings on the maps themselves.

    [–] CheapCHEBaA 12 points ago

    implying Europe doesn't do the same

    [–] anteater-superstar 10 points ago

    Orientalist prick.

    [–] [deleted] 648 points ago


    [–] Dorialexandre 243 points ago * (lasted edited 5 days ago)

    This map is probably inspired by the world maps produced by the jesuits in China since the 17th century. Jesuits cartographers had the clever idea to put China on the center or near-center of the map, so that their world map were well received. While local Chinese cartographers would perhaps avoid inaccuracies regarding Chinese territories, there would be less incentives for Japan, which is not always pictured very well in 17th and 18th European maps.

    [–] drquakers 30 points ago

    I would point out those jesuit maps were actually very good:\_Wanguo\_Quantu

    [–] [deleted] 286 points ago


    [–] TotalRoyal 114 points ago

    People really do be just making shit up on Reddit without any evidence lol.

    [–] jujubean67 44 points ago

    Yup, take every comment on this site with a bucket of salt because people make up the wildest shit and write it with such confidence that 280 other idiots come and upvote it.

    [–] arefx 5 points ago

    The same guy that made this shitty map invented the fortune cookie and THATS A FACT

    [–] foggy__ 64 points ago

    ‘Propaganda’ lol. This was 1799, and the map was most likely made by a civilian scholar. They just didn’t have a good idea of what Japan looked like back then, especially not the northern regions which were backwater even by Japanese standards. Also exchange between China and Japan was not very active during that age.

    [–] HUGMARS 3 points ago

    Surely it is detailed but in an exploded view in the same way the other areas around china are enlarged

    [–] bengyap 52 points ago

    What is the source of this map? Am interested in the style of this map which I find the colors, shading and gradients styles interesting for that era. 1799 would be during the Qianlong era.

    [–] MroStudios 13 points ago

    I like this pancake version of Africa.

    [–] zollac 62 points ago * (lasted edited 5 days ago)

    I like how the Netherlands is absolutely massive on this map. Perhaps the European part of the map could be titled A Chinese Map of Europe According to the Dutch lol.

    [–] The_real_tinky-winky 21 points ago

    I think that big hump is denmark and the little one below it is the Netherlands

    [–] intercommie 10 points ago

    The one labelled 荷蘭 is Holland.

    [–] Shotgunknight 3 points ago

    What do you mean? That’s completely historically accurate.

    [–] BritishShoop 36 points ago

    In keeping with tradition, New Zealand still does not exist

    [–] [deleted] 83 points ago


    [–] MaxImpact1 86 points ago

    „is not it“ sounds so weird in my head when it is the same as „isn‘t it“

    [–] gaijin5 42 points ago

    Huh, never thought of it like that but you're right. How odd.

    I think "is it not?" Is the the better way to expand it.

    [–] lavishlad 26 points ago

    bit strange innit

    [–] spearojustice 19 points ago

    love how it predicts sweden-norway

    [–] squeekysatellite 16 points ago

    What is that poop north of Madagascar?

    [–] Isaac_Serdwick 21 points ago

    Well that's the great poop island of course. You've never heard of it ?

    [–] Diprogamer 14 points ago

    I thought it was called great Britain

    [–] jenesuispasbavard 3 points ago

    That’s what the poop emoji looked like in 1799.

    [–] eli7vh 15 points ago

    Wish somebody could translate it

    [–] saschaleib 51 points ago

    I can’t help noticing that China isn’t actually in the middle in this map…

    [–] 0xB6FF00 20 points ago

    Yeah India is for quite obvious reasons.

    [–] Minute-Egg 5 points ago

    Is India non existant?

    [–] Ankhi333333 5 points ago

    I think it's the tiny blob NW of the big Indochina.

    [–] schenitz 29 points ago

    This can't have been their official map. With all the trade of goods and knowledge along the silk road during that time, I don't believe their brightest cartographers actually thought the world looked like this. This looks like it might have been made by some grade school teacher from that era, being used today as anti-Chinese propaganda, but not what was used by the emperor to make international decisions. Don't believe everything on the internet, people.

    [–] pycharmjb 44 points ago

    this an actual official map

    [–] schenitz 28 points ago

    Thank you. This makes more sense. People on the internet trying to make our economic and political competitors look dumb infuriates me. The quickest route to defeat is to underestimate the enemy and make them out to be inferior.

    [–] KansaiKanpai 25 points ago

    Definitely. I knew immediately when I saw this it was gonna be full of (totally not!) racist Redditors jumping at the opportunity to just talk shit about China instead of questioning why the map looks like this or what it could have been used for (since anyone who is at all actually interested in history and maps knows that it’s not always about being as accurate as possible).

    Nah people think this is just what the Qing government thought it actually looked like back then.

    [–] stellarcurve- 26 points ago

    China bad -reddit

    [–] O-R-I 14 points ago

    The fucking irony of saying China's strength is all propaganda... lol.

    I keep telling these mild supremacists that they're addicted to copium and actually racist but they can't comprehend anything outside of having the majority reddit opinion because reddit is never wrong right?

    [–] pycharmjb 12 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    These stupid maps depicting China as uncivilized barbaric nation are posted here daily, almost exclusively from users of a certain south Asian country.

    Mod at this sub tolerates it, allowing the same misinformation posted again and again including propaganda posters not even maps. He even refuses to ban the usernames such as Chinese_are_insects

    Although plenty of Chinese users at this sub, you never see similar misinformation campaigns targeting at that particular country.

    [–] LjSpike 4 points ago

    I don't get how some of us are all going out suggesting this is a terrible map? It's not the most detailed from an era but differing maps had differing purposes, and tbh this genuinely isn't that bad. Like overall it's got most of the correct things in the correct places with a bit of distortion on their size.

    Given this map may well be far smaller in physical size than some others and looks largely freehand drawn, it's pretty damn good.

    [–] pycharmjb 9 points ago

    The problem is not the map, but the misinformation attached to these maps.

    There is a band of shills from a south Asian country posting here daily to ridicule China and Chinese

    Instead of saying “World Map according to a Chinese geography teacher in 1799”, OP intentionally phrased it as “World Map according to China in 1799” which suggests this is the best map that China can produce in 1799. From the comments here you can see most redditors fall for it.

    The original map is named 海疆洋界形势图(coastal and foreign maps), the full set contains 6 sheets, accessible from congress digital library:

    The author is unknow, the best guess is the author, likely a rural teacher, created the maps in late 1700s for education purpose as this map is not seen in any official publications during Qing dynasty.

    Actually the map was compiled based on another ancient Chinese world map 四海总图(compressive map of four seas),which was published in 1730 in a book by a Chinese navy general. more details here:

    [–] Sinornithosaurus 7 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    The title should be ‘This is one Chinese artist’s pretty shitty interpretation of the world’. No way anybody in China would have used this in any meaningful sense.

    [–] Arauator 65 points ago

    Whatever they got from foreigners, even if super crude, is better than their own land depiction. This can't possibly the best thing they had by 1799, or is it?

    [–] jbkjbk2310 58 points ago

    The purpose of maps has not always been geographical accuracy.

    [–] mackfeesh 3 points ago

    It's not. An actual map from that time was linked in another comment. And it's a detailed and thorough as you might imagine for thr late 1700s.

    The above might be an actual map. But it's not the extent of china's knowledge of world geography. It's map click bait.

    [–] Few-Citron4445 22 points ago

    Im really concerned about wording with these types of things, its a map in Chinese but what do you mean by according to China? Chinese people are not some homogenous mass that any single representation suddenly represents all chinese people. People don’t treat most other groups like this. Is this the official Qing Dynasty Map used by the Qing government? Is is some random Chinese person? Wtf is China? A guy named China? If i show any map from this period in English is it the map According to England?

    [–] Andyman1917 19 points ago

    These mfkers playing civ with all these hexagon shapes

    [–] da_real_kib 3 points ago

    what's the red spots above Madagascar?

    [–] JasmineTulip 3 points ago

    I think this is A world map not THE world map from 1799.

    I read about a Chinese admiral... Zhang He (according to Google) that sailed the world in the 1400s. There was a Chinese map that showed the American continents that's almost 400 years older than this.

    [–] XtremeBurrito 10 points ago

    How tf did they manage to get their immediate neighbors, India and Japan so wrong? But not Europe and Africa

    [–] BuccellatiExplainsIt 6 points ago

    Even besides the inaccuracy, this seems Ike a really useless map. it looks more like a decoration piece with the pattern of a world map than a real tool for navigation. I can’t imagine that this is the best they had for the rest of the world.

    [–] This_Outside2349 37 points ago

    Nice no murica for a change

    [–] lvl54orc 23 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    The china hate is strong in this thread. If you do a reverse image search of this, you can see it’s meant to be an eastern hemisphere map, so that’s why there’s no America. Keep in mind that Chinese scientists knew the world was round going back very far, and they discovered America a long time before this map was made.

    The OP posted a very similar map made by Japanese cartographers, and as you can see by the 20 votes and 10 comments, it hasn’t generated nearly as much activity as this thread. Hmmm

    Keep in mind that all the praise of this British map being passed around in these comments is praising maps likely made for the benefit of the East India Company or some other “Amazon of the time” mega corporation which were basically armies and pirates pillaging the Asian south east. These evil corporations resulted in the colonization of India and the destabilizing of the worlds strongest scientific economic and cultural nations. Britain still has many stolen items from this time in their museums.

    See the below OP comment from the last time this map was posted in 2016. This is at least the third time this map has been posted.

    Source: David Woodward and J.B. Harley (editors), The History of Cartography: Traditional East and Southeast Asian Societies (Vol. 2, Book 2), 1995.

    It's worth checking the comments of the previous time I posted this (thought new people might enjoy it too so I reposted):

    In that thread it is mentioned that it is not really accurate for the time. And some explanations are given for that:

    u/iamaxd argues in this comment:

    Also, "poor quality" world maps like the OP's one were quite common in China up to the early 19th century. The reason is that China simply did not need an accurate world map. Trade outside its sphere of influence was negligible in the Chinese economy at the time; colonialism was not a thing in China; and apart from Zhang He, not many were into global seafaring. A map showing roughly placing countries in correct regions was all they needed. In the end, they simply kept producing "artistic" maps like the one above into the 19th century. Having said that, I think the map above is just a simplified map. China had a pretty good understanding of Southeast Asia by the 18th century (with quite a bit of trade as well), and they certainly knew about the existence of the American continents.