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Exploring and Mapping Alaska

Un libro in lingua di Alexey Postnikov Marvin Falk Black Lydia (TRN) edito da Univ of Alaska Pr, 2015

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Russia first encountered Alaska in 1741 as part of the most ambitious and expensive expedition of the entire 18th century. During the next 126 years the struggle to develop and refine geographic knowledge of the vast region comprising northeastern Asia, the North Pacific, and Alaska met with many obstacles, including inclement weather, the chain of supply over great distances, the need to train expert navigators and cartographers, and false leads due to spurious voyage accounts. For much of this era, critical geographic knowledge was kept as a state secret in Russia and not shared, even with the very navigators and cartographers who were developing much needed maps and navigational aids. Despite this, a rich cartographic heritage developed to be carried forward into the American era.

The traditional Russian cartographic methods were applied to new discoveries in Siberia and beyond. Early fur traders and explorers utilized this system which for a time co-existed with the new cartographic methodology utilized in Europe and adopted for use by the Russia of Peter the Great. It became an age of scientific exploration. Great Britain, France, Spain, but especially Russia, sent expeditions. An increasingly complete knowledge of the coasts of North America, with forays into the interior, emerged. Postnikov describes the explorations and richly illustrates how the resulting maps evolved and contributed to the world’s knowledge of one of the last great regions of the world to be explored.

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