There are many aspects to the art and science of cartography which have been portrayed on postage stamps. Among them the understanding of the world we live in as it is described by maps, and the development of the techniques and instruments to translate that understanding into visible form is well covered by the stamps issued by the nations of the world. While maps go back into the dim past, the history of cartography as an attempt to reflect the nature of the world really begins with Claudius Ptolemy, and continues into the 18th century. After that it is primarily a matter of detail.
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Claudius Ptolemy


Medaba Map


Catalan Atlas 

  Cheng Ho

Mecia de Viladestes  Portolan Charts Henry the Navigator

Paolo Toscanelli

Rudimentum Novitorum 

Nicholaus Germanus

Pedro Reinel

Henricus Martellus 

Martin Behaim

Ahmed ben Maged

Juan de la Cosa 

Cantino Planisphere

Bartolomeo Columbus

Transition to Printed Maps

Martin Waldseemüller

Montalboddo Fracanzano

Piri Reis

Lopo Homem

Diego Ribero  Olaus Magnus Sebastian Münster
Batista Agnese João Freire  Pierre Descaliers
Sebastião Lopes Guillaume Le Testu  Lázaro Luís
  Philipp Apian  
Bartolomeo de Oliva Giacomo Gastaldi Diego Gutiérrez
Jacques Cartier Andrés de Urdaneta Diogo Homem
Gerard Mercator Vincenzo Maria Coronelli Abraham Ortelius
Braun and Hogenburg Aloysius Cesanis Gerard de Jode
Audiencia of Guatemala Diego Mendez The Skåholt Map
Pedro  de Gamboa Ignazio Danti Newfoundland
Joan Martines Christiaan Sgrooten Theodore de Bry
Japanese Map Petrus Plancius Jacques Nicholas Bellin
Willem Barentsz Luis Teixeira Jan Hoyghen van Linschoten
Matteo Ricci Manuoel Godhino de Erédia Wright-Molyneux
Gabriel Tatton Jodocus Hondius Pieter van den Keere
Hessel Gerritsz Abel Janszoon Tasman Samuel de Champlain
  William Blaeu  
Johannes Blaeu Johan Maansson Nicolaus Jansz Visscher
Willem Mogge Pieter Goos Lucas Debes
John Seller Vakhushti Bagrationi  Hendrick Doncker
Joden Savanna Island California Pablo Dias Faxardo
Johann Jacob Heber Hans Egede Gaspe Peninsula
Johannes van Keulen Louis Antoine de Bougainville Charlottetown
  Pierre Bourgoin  
Samuel Hearne Don Francisco Requena William Gardner
Nootka Sound Daniel Friedrich Sotzmann Simão Antonio da Roza Pinheiro 
George Vancouver Tahiti Bodega y Quadra
Fudadero de Refugio Battle of Rabot Serapino Salviate
Solomon Islands Matthew Flinders John Thomson
David Thompson Ino Tadataka John MacGregor
Jan van Rosevelt The Map Stamp Unidentified Antique Maps