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Incredible claims have been made about a map named after its creator (Piri Reis).

enter image description here

I was looking into digitizing the map and overlaying it with a modern map of the world, specifically the east coast of the Americas, Antarctica and the west coast of Africa.

Before attempting this I wanted to make sure it hasn't already been done.

So, has anyone seen/done this and have pointers to the data? A shapefile or GML file? Something that can load into Google Earth?

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_tBL67utkyNw/S_lE7zti5RI/AAAAAAAAAU8/HgEFCjd74Ik/s1600/piri_reis_full.jpg

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is a raster version of the Map

enter image description here

You can digitise from this source for personal use.

KMZ http://www.gearthhacks.com/dlfile12068/Piri-Reis-Map.htm

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Tip:in Google Earth right click the KMZ and do properties and there is a Transparency slider, move towards 'clear' and you can see the differences with the modern world. –  Mapperz May 7 '13 at 14:19

Something to keep in mind is that portolan chart navigation maps like Piri Reis don't a have coordinate system, rather they are several different local coordinate systems munged together -- each one of the rosettas or compass rose like symbols is a projection source of origin, loosely speaking.

So you can't just georeference the image in the usual GIS way by assigning coordinate pairs to the four corners or a half a dozen points within, slap rectify and then overlay it on modern data which does have a coordinate system. Well you can, as Mapperz' answer clearly shows, and the comparison is interesting and possibly informative, just be careful about the conclusions you draw from it!

An interesting exercise for balance would be to drop other popular modern projections as georeferenced images on top of Google Earth and see how they fare.

A question about how to most properly georeference chart maps like Piri Reis would be an excellent addition to GIS Stack Exchange.

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+1 Re the question in your ultimate paragraph: I was wondering the very same thing, especially after I played with the Google Maps applet for tweaking that "georeferencing". Why don't you ask it? :-) –  whuber May 17 '13 at 20:42

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