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The Compass Rose, Cool Facts.

How to read maps, when were they invented, why are they so useful?
The Compass Rose, Cool Facts.
The art of Cartography

Did you know that the Soviet Union published false maps? They deliberately drew the maps with missing or incorrectly placed towns, rivers, and roads. It was the country's hope that security would be increased by taking these measures but it actually confused people and made the country less efficient. 

Did you know that a Portolan is a hand-drawn nautical chart from the 15th to 16 centuries? 

Map-makers do not put a date on their maps in order to keep them from seeming outdated and so it can be difficult to find the exact age of a map. One of the ways that the age can be determined is by comparing the map to a geographical dictionary and looking up the dates that a place existed. 

Did you know that the first jigsaw puzzle was actually a map? It was invented by an Englishmen by the name of John Spilsbury in 1767. He pasted a map of the world onto a piece of wood and then cut it up into different shapes!

Teachers used Spilsbury's map-puzzles in their classrooms to teach students about geography. 

Below is a photo of the original puzzle.


The compass rose is a complex figure that displays the cardinal directions and as many as 28 other directions in between. The cardinal directions are North, South, East, and West. You may think that the name "rose" comes from the shape of the compass, but it is acually from the ornate embellishments that are included on most compass roses. A compass is an important tool on a map to help orient the reader. The compass rose is a very intricate version of a normal four-point compass that allows a person to be more precise. "Boxing the compass" is the term that is given to naming all 32 points on the rose. 

Below is a photograph of a lovely compass rose.