In 1892, Alexander Gleason crafted a remarkable map that challenged conventional cartography. His map, known as Gleason’s New Standard Map of the World, was based on the projection of J. S. Christopher, a cartographer associated with Modern College in Blackheath, England. Gleason’s work aimed to be both scientifically accurate and practically useful.

Gleason’s map employed a polar azimuthal projection, centered on the North Pole. Unlike traditional flat maps, which distort landmasses near the edges, this projection flattened the globe outward from the center. The result was a circular plane that allowed for straightforward calculations of longitude and time across different regions.

One of the map’s distinctive features was the inclusion of movable arms. These arms facilitated the calculation of time in various places around the world. By tracing an indicator along the map, users could determine the time difference between different longitudes. Gleason’s map thus served as a practical tool for navigators, explorers, and anyone needing accurate timekeeping.

Gleason’s New Standard Map also featured diagrams illustrating the June and December solstices. These celestial events mark the longest and shortest days of the year, respectively. Additionally, the border of the map displayed “sun-time in minutes,” emphasizing the connection between time and the sun’s position.

A Testament to Cartographic Creativity, Gleason's map exemplifies the boundless creativity that has driven mapmaking throughout history. With intricate hand-drawn illustrations, each map reflects the ingenuity and imagination of its maker. Gleason's work, though rooted in a scientifically inaccurate premise, reminds us that mapmakers have constantly explored new ways to visualize and represent our world.

Alexander Gleason’s New Standard Map of the World is not just a cartographic curiosity; it’s a captivating piece of art that transcends time and space. Imagine adorning your walls with this unique and thought-provoking representation of our planet. Pick up a copy of this masterpiece or one of our many other maps for yourself in our online shop.

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