MegaVision and Library of Congress image "America's birth certificate"
SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Nov. 2007 -- staff at the Library of Congress used a MegaVision camera system to image "America's birth certificate."
That document - a map made in 1507 by cartographer Martin Waldseemueller - contains the first printed reference to the word "America."
The digital imaging of rare and one-of-a-kind documents is an area of expertise for MegaVision, and the company's services are regularly requested by both private organizations and governmental agencies engaged in cultural heritage imaging.
Printed on 12 separate sheets, each sheet approximately 18 x 24 inches, the map measures more than four feet by 8 feet when assembled.
It was purchased by the Library of Congress in 2003, and is the only known surviving copy from a limited print run of 1000 copies of a monumental project that mapped the entire world as it was then known.
The "America" reference in the Waldseemueller Map, also known as the "Universalis Cosmographica," was a nod to Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci, who concluded that the lands reached by Christoper Columbus and others in the 1400s were in fact a new continent, unknown to Europe at the time.
The map was also one of the first to precisely chart latitude and longitude, and was the first to depict a full and separate Western Hemisphere, as well as being the first to show the Pacific Ocean as a separate body of water.
Its findings departed significantly from the accepted knowledge of the earth's terrain at the time, much of which was based on the work of the Greek geographer Claudius Ptolemy, who lived in the 2nd century A.D.
The Waldseemueller Map is now on permanent display at the Library of Congress in the Jefferson building on Capitol Hill.
Santa Barbara based MegaVision introduced the first professional quality digital camera over 20 years ago. MegaVision pioneered the dawn of the digital revolution in imaging. MegaVision continues its legacy of imaging excellence providing the highest quality camera systems for the professional, scientific, cultural and medical industry.
For more information about the Waldseemueller Map visit: Waldseemueller loc.gov
For Further Information:
CONTACT: Jennifer Boydston, Administrative Assistant, at MegaVision Corporation, 805-964-1400.