map

Great Ming Amalgamated Map

This is the oldest world map that has been well preserved in one piece in China, dating back to 14th century, early Ming dynasty. Africa, Europe, Arabia are disproportionally represented in the west part of the map.

More details: See Da Ming Hun Yi Tu in wikipedia

P.S. I will be on a trip away for a week. The blogging progress has been significantly slowed down these days. I have so many unfinished drafts for the time being, and will definitely finish them after I get back.

The deserted Great Wall of China in Hebei

When history meets geography

Correction: history always associates with geography! Things can’t never happen off the axis of time and space. That’s why people who naturally like geography must be interested in history, vice verse.  I remember when I was a little kid I just had this peculiar obsession towards maps, world map, China map, Hunan map, Changsha map, all sorts of maps.  I made my parents bought me a gigantic World Map when I was 8 or 9, even before I could barely recognize every Chinese character on the newspaper. Back then I would spend hours and hours laying the map on the floor in my room and crawl on it to look at the shape of each country and the location of each city on the map. I spent so much time with that map to the point that my mom thought I am autistic and shy to play outside the room and started to ask my teacher if I was an outcast in the class. Though it turned out I am just as social as the neighbor kid, I had a real blast with that map at that time. To this day I have developed this eidetic memory about countries, cities, and civilizations, that every time I read or heard of a name of a geographical entity, I could instantly locate this position, geographical shape, and its surrounding geographical features on my visual world map application in my brain (faster than googlemap).  As a result, it wasn’t long before I discovered another gold mine – history. I remember I was so fascinated at the rise and fall, the flood and ebb of a country, a civilization, and the change of names and location of cities on the map along the historical line. Naturally I began to spend hours and hours, days after days in all history books when I was supposed to do the math questions for homework (though my math is still awesome due to my Asian genes). I tell you this because I have just recently found a brilliant website that could well serve people as dorky as me in history and geography for good, a website that shows you the map of Europe all the way from AD1 to AD2000. The link is below:

The awesome website that shows maps of Europe from AD1 all the way up to 2000

Nerds, do not hesitate to open this link and spend hours and hours staring at those maps. For those who feels sick and tired of learning European histories from plain texts and wikipedia (simply because the European history is a total mess and make your brain hurt), combine history with geography, and it will be much, much easier to comprehend and digest. Enjoy!