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Waldseemüller’s Map: World 1507

[Detail] Waldseemüller’s Map: World 1507

Lesson Overview

The 1507 World Map by Martin Waldseemüller is one of the world’s most important maps. For the first time, this map labels America and shows the continent as a separate land mass. It is often referred to as America’s Birth Certificate. Students will investigate this map by looking closely at the details of each section of the map and then draw conclusions on the revelation of this new and unusual world to the people of 1507.


Students will be able to:

  • Analyze maps as primary sources;
  • Locate identifiable land masses;
  • Locate standard map features: equator, Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, longitude;
  • Explain the historical significance and legacy of this map.


Time Required

  • One class

Recommended Grade Level

  • 6-8
  • 3-5


  • Maps & Geography
  • World History


  • Three Worlds Meet, Beginnings to 1620