Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > History of Science, Mathematics, Technology > 165. Giovanni Domenico Cassini and Giovanni Cassini

165.  Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625-1712) and Giovanni Cassini (1677-1756).  Planisphere terrestre ou sont marquees longitudes de divers lieux de la terre. Paris: Jean Baptiste Nolin, 1696. RBML, Historic Map Collection

This is the first map constructed using scientific data. Under Giovanni Domenicis Cassini's direction, coordinates of latitude and longitude for points throughout the world were collected by the Académie Royale des Sciences for over thirty years. These were placed on the floor of the Paris Observatory, creating a planisphere that was 24 feet in diameter, with the North Pole at the center. Cassini's son Giovanni drew the much reduced version that was then engraved by Nolin.

Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Alexander O. Vietor, 1958

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