The earliest known map of Asia is the “Kangnido,” made in 1402 in Korea at the beginning of the Joseon period. The original no longer exists, but there is a replica that dates from 1470. The contours of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and India are clearly discernable, but China and Korea take up a disproportionately large surface area.
Cartography continued to advance in Korea during the Joseon period (1392-1910). In the “Complete Map of the Eastern State,” Donggukdaejido, Jeong Sang-gi (1678-1752) used a new scale that improved the reproduction considerably. As a geographer he had discovered the “100 ri measuring stick,” which considerably influenced the compilation of the later map of Korea, Daedongyeojijundo. This map from 1861 was designed by Kim Jeon-ho so that it cold be folded in a series of identical rectangles that each comprised 80 ri from west to east. Each surface was printed from a separate wooden block, which made the price attractive to the public. The map was portable, foldable and handy. Japan brought out other novelties in this period, such as a world map and a map of Japan framed by a border of blue and white Arita porcelain.
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