Celebrate GIS Day and map the history of cartography and GIS on our timeline

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A-Brief-History-Of-Maps-Geoawesomeness

Dear Geo-Geeks, for 2015 GIS Day we aim to do something truly Geoawesome and we would like to ask you to do it with us.

We would like to create “A Brief History Of Maps” where we will mark on a timeline of all important dates and milestones that happened in cartography, GIS, and location-based technologies from the beginning of time until today.

Please help us and add in comments below the post milestones which are missing. We will add them to the timeline ASAP!

Let’s celebrate 2015 GIS Day together.

AD 500

Claudius Ptolemy wrote his monumental “Geography” a compilation of coordinates and details to create maps of the known world (thanks Jami Dennis)

1154

1154

Tabula Rogeriana is a description of the world and world map created by the Arab geographer, Muhammad al-Idrisi, in 1154. (thanks Tomasz Przeździęk)

1285

The Hereford Mappa Mundi is medieval European map of the world dating from ca. 1285. (thanks Tomasz Przeździęk)

1472

The first known printed map in Europe was a T and O map by Isidore of Seville (thanks Jami Dennis)

1512

Birth of Gerard Merkator

1564

In 1564 a Flemish cartographer and geographer Abraham Ortelius published Typus Orbis Terrarum the most detailed map of the world of its times. (thanks Mark Wigley)

1569

Gerardus Mercator creates his famous 1569 map of the world where he describes the projection that is named after him. (thanks Jami Dennis)

1662

The Atlas Maior is the atlas made by Joan Blaeu and published in Amsterdam in 1662. It contains 594 maps and around 3,000 pages of text. It was the largest and most expensive book published in the seventeenth century. (thanks fakkelplemp)

1933

Harry’s Beck London tube map from 1933 – the revolutionary concept of city transportation map (thanks Tomasz Przeździęk)

1945

Birth of Jack Dangermond – Founder of Esri

mid 1960s

Initial development of Geographic Information Systems in Canada

1969

Founding of Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) in Redlands, California

500 BC

500 BC

The first known map of the World – Babylon

1978

Launch of The Global Positioning System (GPS) for military use

1981

The initial launch of ArcGIS platform at that time called ArcInfo.

1984

Establishing of WGS84 – The World Geodetic System which isthe reference coordinate system used by the GPS. (thanks fakkelplemp)

1985

The launch of Etak – the first Car Navigation System

1986

The first release of MapInfo Professional, at that time named as the Mapping Display and Analysis System (MIDAS)

1996

The first web mapping service has been launch by MapQuest:

2000

Civilian GPS accuracy got much better accuracy

2001

The first commercial LBS service in Japan was launched by DoCoMo, based on triangulation for pre-GPS handsets

2001

Lauch of EarthViewer 3D – the first virtual globe created by In-Q-Tel (CIA funded company) and acquired by Google in 2004. Then rebranded to Google Earth.

2002

Yahoo! Maps have been launch in March 2002.

2002

The launch of QGIS on the first cross-platform free and open-source GIS software in July 2002. (thanks Matt Travis)

2002

Go2 and AT&T Mobility launched the first (US) mobile LBS local search application that used Automatic Location Identification (ALI) technologies mandated by the FCC.

2004

Launch of OpenStreetMap – the Wikipedia of maps

2005

Launch of Google Maps after the acquisition of Sydney-based company Where 2 Technologies

2007

On 1 October, 2007 Nokia acquired Navteq and later rebranded to Here for €5.7 billion.

2007

TomTom acquired TeleAtlas for €2.9 billion in October, 2007.

2007

The launch of iPhone, which changed the way we use and interact with location and maps today.

2009

The launch of Foursquare one of a few local search and location-sharing apps that made it to the mainstream

2011

Launch of Geoawesomeness.com

2011

First two satellites of the European satellite navigation system – Galileo have been launched. (thanks Mark Wigley)

2012

The launch of Apple Maps in June 2012. At the beginning hated, now accepted by many.

2013

Introduction of iBeacon – new Bluetooth low energy protocol introduced Apple that solved most of Bluetooth related problems for proximity positioning.

2013

Google Acquired Waze for $1bln in June 2013

2015

Yahoo! Maps have been shut down in June 2015.

Found a missing milestone? Put it in comment and we’ll add it to the timeline!

Aleks Buczkowski
I'm a professional always thinking outside the box and a self-confessed gadget addict. As a son of a professor of cartography I was surrounded by maps all my life and as a result spatial way of thinking and seeing reality is naturally embedded in who I am.