The first road atlas

At 65, John Ogilby began work on Europe's first accurate road atlas. The Britannia Depicta was hugely successful and many editions were printed between 1675 and 1760.

Using a device that measured distance as a wheel was pushed along the ground, Ogilby took accurate measurements of 7500 miles of roads in England and Wales. He noted important local landmarks like church towers and windmills, as well as nearby bridges, inns, agriculture, walls and hedges, rivers, and hills. To Ogilby's dismay, his rivals immediately stole his careful work, and reused it in their own atlases.


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