Country Road Map Etzlaub
Accuracy Examination of Old Maps
at the Chair for Cartography and Topography
"Das seyn dy lantstrassen durch das Romisch reych von einem kunigreych zw dem andern dy an Tewtsche land stossen von meilen zw meiln mit puncten verzaichnet"
[That are the country roads through the Roman Empire from one kingdom to another, which hit Germany, recorded from mile to mile with points]
by Erhard Etzlaub (ca. 1460 - 1531/32) from 1501
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[Erhard Etzlaub's Map "The Country Roads through the Roman Empire"]
Original by Kurt BRUNNER in: BUZIN, Reiner / WINTGES, Theodor (Eds.) : Kartographie 2001 - multidisziplinär und multimedial. Beiträge zum 50. Deutschen Kartographentag. Wichmann Verlag, Heidelberg, pp. 43-54 (ISBN: 3-87907-381-3)
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Translated in English
In 1501 - exactly 500 years ago - the map „Das seyn dy lantstrassen durch das Romisch reych ...“ [That are the country roads through to Roman Empire ...] (the so-called "Country Road Map“) by Erhard Etzlaub appears. Previously to the Holly Year 1500 the map „Das ist der Rom-Weg von meylen zu meylen ...“ [This is the way to Rome from mile to mile ...] (the so-called „Rome-Way-Map“) was produced. The two maps reproduced in woodcut are south-oriented, showing Central Europe and have a similar map design. Exceptional in the two maps is the representation of streets by dotted lines, wherein the distance between two points is in each case one miles; it is the "Common German Mile" with about 7.4 km = 1/15 degree equatorial. The maps are therefore referred to as the first road maps respectively traffic maps.
In addition to appearing as the 1491 copper engraving map of Nicolas of Cusa (1401-1464), the two Etzlaub maps are the first modern map maps pf Germany and Central Europe, which apparently were extensive in use and intensive continued to have an effect.
2 Erhard Etzlaub – Life and Work
Erhard Etzlaub was born between 1455 and 1460 in Erfurt; 1468, he enrolled at the high school and there he is still evidence to 1472 in Erfurt. 1484 he was awarded citizenship in Nuremberg, where he served as first as compass manufacturer. In 1507he is named as „sworn surveyor“ und 1511 as captain. Since 1513 he has been designated a doctor. Etzlaub died 1532 in Nuremberg (SCHNELBÖGL, 1966 and 1970).
In 1500 the Free Imperial City Nuremberg was one of the largest cities in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. For cartography Nuremberg was then an important center: The astronomer and mathematician Johannes Regiomontanus (1436-1476), a pupil of Georg von Peuerbach (1423-1461), settled 1471 - coming from Vienna - in Nuremberg. 1492 Martin Behaim (1459-1507) created the first preserved terrestrial globe. Jerome Munzer (1437-1508), who in 1493 created a map of Germany for the Nuremberg Chronicle lived since 1478 in Nuremberg; Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514), editor of the Chronicle from 1493, held since 1484 on Nuremberg. Johannes Schöner (1477-1547), mathematician, astronomer and cartographer, worked from 1526 in Nuremberg.
As an instrument maker Erhard Etzlaub built pocket sundials, which were equipped with a compass. Of these pocket sundials are two examples from the years 1511 and 1513 will receive. On from the Germanic National Museum in Nuremberg custody pocket sundial is on the outside of the timber lid as is well known a map with increasing latitudes, which anticipated the Mercator projection.
1492 Erhard Etzlaub made his first map. This south-oriented map with a scale of about 1:1 million shows the Nuremberg area with exactly 100 places in a circular disc. 1500 and 1501 were followed by the "Rome-Way-Map" and the "Country Road Map". These maps were carved in wood and printed as broadsides by Georg Glockendon († 1505).
The authorship of these products by Erhard Etzlaub identified from August Wolkenhauer (1877-1915) and described in WOLKENHAUER (1903 and 1907); in doing so he was able to rely ob the work of BREUSING (1883). The cartographic work of Etzlaub was studied by Herbert Krüger (KRÜGER, 1950 and 1951) and particularly documented in KRÜGER (1958). A recent analysis comes from Nine Miedema (MIEDEMA, 1996).
3 The Rom-Way-Map from 1500
For the pilgrims who wanted in the Holy Year 1500 to Rome, Erhard Etzlaub presented a unsigned and undated map, the so-called Rom-Way-Map “Das ist der Rom-Weg von meylen zu meylen mit Puncten verzeychnet...” [That is the way to Rome recorded with points from mile to mile ...]. The map shows for Central Europe the most important pilgrimage routes to Rome; it appears on the map type of pilgrim maps (KUPČÍK, 1992). It is preserved in severally copies and according to Herbert Krüger printed in three editions with slightly different content (KRÜGER, 1958). In CAMPBELL (1987) is certainly rightly expected by only two editions (MIEDEMA, 1996).
4 The Country Road Map from 1501
1501 appears the map “Das seyn dy lantstrassen durch das Romisch reych von einem kunigreych zw dem andern dy an Tewtsche land stossen von meilen zw meiln mit puncten verzaichnet” [That are the country roads through the Roman Empire from one kingdom to antother, which hit Germany, recorded from mile to mile with points]. Probably for a growing number of travelers - clerics, pilgrims, diploamts and scholars - the map should provide travel information; it is thus aimed at a larger audience.
Two copies of the map obtained: the copy of the Hauslab-Liechtenstein collections in Vienna and later in Vaduz, now in the USA, which August Wolkenhauer (1877-1915) known and which he described (WOLKENHAUER, 1903). A second copy is located in the town library Löbau, where it was discovered in 1908 by Victor Hantzsch. This copy will described by Wilhelm Wolkenhauer (1845-1922) in WOLKENHAUER (1919); here there is also a facsimile. Another copy is attached to BÖNISCH / BRICHZIN / SCHILLINGER / STAMS (1990). Both specimens are old colored broadsheets with a print level of 40 x 55 cm (map zone 38 x 49 cm). The map content is largely identical to that of the Rome-Way-Map, but it is expanded in the west up to Central France and slightly in the south.
Fig. 1: Overdrawing of the Country Road Map from 1501 in a reduction.
The dotted country roads had to be replaced by a line.
In the map is a deformation grid incorporated.
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5 Map Content
In the Country Road Map falls on the very schematic, graphically dominant, brown colored mountain representation of the Alps, as well as for some secondary mountains (Fig. 2). Other secondary mountains such as those around Bohemia are created green. A plain color is also found for a number of political units, although naturally border lines are missing. The water representation is not precise, but can detect characteristic watersheds.
There are over 820 registered villages mainly by circular ring signatures, but also by red filled outline pictures; Nuremberg is recognized as the central location through its coat of arms. The villages are mostly in German, some labeled in Latin. As in the Rome-Way-Map, Berlin is entered in the map for the first time (SCHARFE / SCHEERSCHMIDT, 2000).
The roads shown with dotted lines are greatly expanded to the Rome-Way-Map, in which added only the pilgrim routes to Rome; Nuremberg is the traffic junction. In particular there are now roads in east-west direction, the through road from Gdansk to Barcelona and the "Via regia lusatiae", the royal road from Paris to Krakow. It is noteworthy that the most important Alpine passes are registered as north-south connections. These are from the east the Radstädter Tauern Pass, the Brenner Pass, the Splügen Pass (all in Fig. 2) and in the west the Col du Mont Cenis. The Great St. Bernard Pass is indeed with „S. Bernhart perg“ labeled, but it is found no road signature. It is noteworthy that the Gotthart Pass - known since the 14th century - is not registered; this also applies to subsequent maps (KUPČÍK, 1992).
On the other hand in the Rome-Way-Map is found a schematic mountain representation in molehill manner. As passes are only the Brenner Pass and the Splügen Pass as seemingly wide "valley" entered.
Fig. 2: Excerpt from the Contry Road Map from 1501
6 Map Frame and Map Edge
6.1 General Information
A careful look at the data in earning map edge and map frame. We refer to the facsimile editions of the Löbau copy. At the top of the map is the direction „Mittag“ [midday] and correspondingly lower „Mittnacht“ [midnight], left „Aufgang“ [sunrise] and finally right „Niedergang“ [sundown] specified. In the upper map edge the already cited map title „Das seyn dy lantstrassen durch das Romisch reych von einem Kunigreych zw dem andern dy an Tewtsche land stossen von meilen zu meiln mit puncten verzaichnet“ [That are the country roads through the Roman Empire from one kingdom to antother, which hit Germany, recorded from mile to mile with points] with letterpress letters in type printing in Gothic print.
In the lower border is a ten-mile grid marked out and numbered from 0 to 210 miles; set points in a row to give it - as with the roads in the map content - to each mile. Thereunder, in the lower map frame, the representation of a compass is found in the middle. Incidentally, the almost identical representation in the Rome-Way-Map is titled "Der Compaß" [the compass]. Left and right of each is a block of text in type printing also mounted in Gothic script. The texts include an instruction manual for the map and the compass, they are cited below.
Left text block:
„Diese Carta begreifft bey 820 Stet und helt innnach der breyt 210 meyl, nach der höch 270 myle und lendendaran 9 Königreich. Wer nun wissen wilo, wie weyt von einer stat zur anderen sey, der zele die punct zwischen den selben 2 stetten, so wirt er denn erkennen die meyln, als vil man ir zelt, so aber kein punct zwischen denselben 2 Stetten verzyichnet wer, dannnym ein zirckel und miss mit ab due weyt der Stet, die selbig zirckelweyt setz hin auf diese punct der yeglichen thut eine gemeine Teutsche meyl, der yede helt 10 000 schritt“.
[This map shows 820 villages and has a width of 210 miles, a lenght of 270 miles and displays nine kingdoms. Who wants to know now is how far it is from one city to the other, the count the points that are located between the two cities. The he'll take a circle and measure the distance between the two villages. The same circle distance he put on this point range, where every point counts a commonn German mile for every 10,000 steps.]
Right text block:
„Die gelegenhei der Stet eine gegen der anderen, vermerk also. Setz einen Campast auff den gemalten oder an die seyten des Brieffs und ruck den Brieff nis die zünglein der Compast aufeinander sagen, denn so die Carta unverrückt bleybt, so ligt ein yetzliche Stat, wo sie gelegen ist, denn se den Compast auff die puncte zweyer fürgenommener Stet mit den seyten, und merck, wie die zung ste: also steet sie auch, wenn man zwischen in wandert“.
[The direction from one city to another is obtained as follows: set a compass on the marked compass or to the side of the map and rotate the map until the compass needles point in the same direction. Then, if the map remains unmoved, each place is where it really lies. The the compass set to the side of the dotted line between two selected cities and remember the direction in which the compass needle shows. In this direction it also shows when you go between the two places.]
Under the right text block in a larger font the words „Gedruckt von Georg glogkedon zw Nurnbergk 1501“ [Printed by Georg Glockendon from Nuremberg 1501] is arranged.
In the west (right) and eastern (left) map frame finds the requirements of - but north-oriented - Ptolemy editions of the 15th century. It should be noted that Ptolemy editions include the geographical knowledge of Claudius Ptolemy (about 125-151 AD). The „Geographia“ of Ptolemy came from Asia Minor at the beginning of the 15th century to Italy, where many copies created. At the end of the 15th century were the Ptolemy editions printed und worked well into the modern period beginning.
In the Country Road Map in the left frame rail - here the eastern - is the latitude of 40° to 58° in 1°-distance marked out and labeled; these details will be explained below with „Latitudo Regionis“. These precracked latitudes are found in the same place in the editions of the Rome-Way-Map but with different numbering arranged. Likewise, here is the bottom of the map one mile strip attached, but only until 200 miles.
6.2 Climate Zones and Day Lengths
On the right - western - map frame are specified the day lengths for summer solstice; the marked and numbered day lengths are specified in 15-minute intervals from 15 h (in the south) to 17¾ h (in the north). Furthermore, there are the climate zones („Klimata“ [climates]), a latitude classification of antiquity, in their Latin names: „Decimmum“ [tenth], „Nonum“ [ninth], „Octanum“ [eighth], „Septtimum“ [seventh], „Sextum“ [sixth] and finally „Quintum“ [fifth]; this is down explained with „Climata cum horis longitudes dej“ [climate zones with hours of day length]. The climate zones include a half hours of day length on the longest day, beginning with the fourth sparkled hour and end with the three fourth-sparkled hour.
The day length are the lengths of the longest day. The relationship between the latitude and the day length of the longest day was known in antiquity. In the Ptolemy editions they are typically reported in the right map frame; but even in "modern" maps after 1500 they can be found, either in the map frame or - especially in baroque maps - in text cartouches. The dependence between the latitude φ and the day length of the longest day Th can be represented as follows:
tan φ = - cos τ / tan ε ; wobei τ = (180° / 24h) · Th
ε is the obliquity of the ecliptic.
A direct comparison between the specified latitudes and the lengths of the longest day in the Etzlaub maps is not possible because the data can be found in opposite left and right map frame.
Under climates (climate zones) was understood in the ancient world "areas" which sunlight received at the same angle to the horizon, thus areas with the same latitude respectively day length. After initially three climate zones for the "inhabited world" was a seven division introduced; they ranged from "Zimtland" (Ethiopia) to the island of "Thule" as northern boundary of the seventh zone (HONIGMANN, 1929). Later an eighth zone for the northern mountains of the inhabited world come along. In the Ptolemy editions are given seven climate zones on the right map frame; we find also in the Germany map of Nicholas of Cusa in 1491 the words "Septimum climate" [seventh climate] in the rioght map frame.
In "modern" maps after 1500 can be found repeated the words of such climate zones, however, but usually eight or more; Then they usually include a half hour of day length on the longest day. Etzlaub's Country Road Map and the Rome-Way-Map too range from a fifth to a tenth climate zone.
Even for the Rome-Way-Map a "register" was generated as a broadsheet in German explaining the map content and inserting in its use.
Also for the Country Road Map, probably in 1504, was a "Registrum" [register] prepared, which is formulated in Latin this time and also to be considered as an explanation of the map content and an instruction of map's use. In MIEDEMA (1996) is the text of the "register" of the Country Road Map printed and also translated into German.
8 Fundamentals of the Map
As with virtually all maps of that time, we know very little about the basics and editing of the map. Basis of the map design were certainly itineraries which at that time were extensive and widespread, especially in Nuremberg available, as each traveller had to know about about the path lengths of it. These itineraries gave the distance between various places in miles or even ½ mile exactly (FINSTERWALDER, 1997), ie an accuracy well below ten kilometers. In addition, the latitude of some places were probably known.
The rectangular map frame suggests a rectangular planar map; walk away from the majority of authors. In ENGLISCH (1996) is noted, however, that is it a stereographic projection (conformal azimuthal projection) trades in Nuremberg as the main point. Like an oblique conformal azimuthal projection 500 years ago could be realized in practice remains to be seen.
Etzlaub's road maps seemed to many maps, first in the „Carta Itineraria Europae“ (1511) and in the „Tabula moderna germania“ (1513) by Martin Waldseemüller (1470-1521) and in the Germany maps by Sebastian Münster (1489-1552).
An notable aftereffect of other species reveals by Rüdiger Finsterwalder: the "Luculentissima quaedam terrae totius descriptio", published in 1515 in Nuremberg by Johannes Schöner (1477-1547), contains a list of coordinates, the coordinates of which are taken from the two Etzlaub maps and their descendants. Then the coordinate list of Schöner continues to have an effect in later coordinate directories (FINSTERWALDER, 1997).
10 Accuracy Analysis
Accuracy analysis of old maps have so far mainly documented by the illustration of a deformation grid, which identifies the deformation of parallels and meridians due to geometrical errors in the map. Even the presentation of error vectors can be intuitive.
In addition, numerical values are meaningfull, such as the accuracy of the scale determining or the accuracy of the positions of places (BEINEKE, 2001).
10.1 Deformation Grid
A first deformation grid of the Country Road Map is found in BÖNISCH / BRICHZIN / SCHILLINGER / STAMS (1990). In Figure 1 a deformation grid construction is incorporated, which was carried out at the Institute for Cartography and Topography of the Bundeswehr University Munich. In the middle of the map nearly rectangular grid mesh can be seen, which can result in a rectangular planar map. A consideration of the meridians can also indicate a convergence in the north.
In the north (below) large deformations of the grid lines can be clearly seen. The deformations show that - as in the Ptolemy editions - Jutland, the Baltic islands and Sweden as well as in the West the British Isles are "twisted". In the south (abobe) a corresponding rotation of Italy and the Dalmatian coast is determine.
10.2 Numerical Investigations
A scale determination with the help of the information in the right map frame results in 1:4.1 million; this value is often found in the literature. An affin transformation of the rectangular coordinates of the local positions, which were obtained by digitizing, in homologous reference points can initially expect a rectangular planar map with a length-preserving parallel of φ0= 46°. Then a Helmert-Transformation gives a map scale of 1 : 3.72 million (± 14 070); the middle point error of the local positions is about ± 23 mm, which are 8,5 km, slightly more than a mile.
Figure 3 shows the remaining misclosures represented as error vectors assuming a rectangular planar map. The error vectors point in particular the above-mentioned deformations in the north and the south on the map very clearly.
Further investigations by means of distance measurements between homologous local positions in East-West direction showed that the meridians converge towards the north; this can be, as mentioned, realize also in a deformation grid. This leads to the conclusion that the road maps of Etzlaub could possibly be constructed still on the basis of azimuthal projections.
A mid-equidistant azimuthal projection - which would be to construct so simple - with the main point of Nuremberg (λΖ Η 11°, φZ Η 49°) would result in a map scale of 1 : 3.62 million (± 14 123) and a mid-point error of the local positions of ± 22 mm; so slightly better values than the rectangular planar map. The calculation using a compliant azimuthal projection (stereographic projection), as indicated in ENGLISCH (1996) gave virtually identical values.
Fig. 3: Error vectors in the Country Road Map of 1501
(vector scale 1:1)
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With the Country Road Map of Erhard Etzlaub and previously with the Rome-Way-Map a modern map type with a big increase in accuracy over old maps was generated suddenly 500 years ago. The maps are inscribed predominantly in German. We are at the beginning of a "modern" cartography of country and regional maps with German map inscription.
At this point I had my staff thanked: by Dipl.-Ing. Uwe Kleim are the construction of the deformation grid and the figures of this paper. Dr.-Ing. Dieter Beineke explicated the numerical investigations.
BEINEKE, Dieter (2001): Verfahren zur Genauigkeitsanlayse für Altkarten. Schriftenreihe des Studiengangs Geodäsie und Geoinformation, Bundeswehr University Munich, Vol. 71, Neubiberg 155 p. (ISSN: 0173-1009)
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KRÜGER, Herbert (1951): Erhard Etzlaub´s Romweg Map and Its Dating in the Holy Year of 1500. In: Imago Mundi, Vol. 3, pp. 17-26 (ISSN: 0308-5694)
KRÜGER, Herbert (1958): Des Nürnberger Meisters Erhard Etzlaub älteste Straßenkarten von Deutschland. In: Jahrbuch für Fränkische Landesforschung, Vol. 18, pp. 1-286, 379-407 (ISSN: 0446-3943)
KUPČÍK, Ivan (1992): Karten der Pilgerstrassen im Bereich der heutigen Schweiz und des angrenzenden Auslandes vom 13. bis zum 16. Jahrhundert. In: Cartographica Helvetica, Issue 6, pp. 17-28 (ISSN: 1015-8480)
SCHARFE, Wolfgang / SCHEERSCHMIDT, Holger (2000): Berlin-Brandenburg im Kartenbild. Wie haben uns die anderen gesehen? Wie haben wir uns selbst gesehen? Ausstellung vom 10. Oktober bis 18. November 2000 von der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Kartenabteilung, und der Freien Universität Berlin, Fachrichtung Kartographie. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Austellungskataloge, Neue Folge 42. Reichert, Wiesbaden, 248 p. (ISBN: 3-89500-200-3)
SCHNELBÖGL, F. (1970): Leben und Werk des Nürnberger Kartographen Erhard Etzlaub (gest. 1532). In: Mitteilungen des Vereins für Geschichte der Stadt Nürnberg, Vol. 57, pp. 216-231 (ISSN: 0083-5579)
WOLKENHAUER, August (1903): Über die ältesten Reisekarten von Deutschland aus dem Ende des 15. und dem Anfang des 16. Jahrhunderts. In: Deutsche Geographische Blätter XXVI, pp. 120-380 (ISSN: 0070-4024), Reprint in: Acta Cartographica, Vol. 20, pp. 480-498 (ISSN: 0567-7343)
WOLKENHAUER, August (1907): Der Nürnberger Kartograph Erhard Etzlaub. In: Verhandlungen des Deutschen Geographentages, No. 16, pp. 124-146.