Lindsay graduated from Colgate University in 2005 with a degree in Geography. After spending four years staring at maps for her degree, she was so anxious to get out and see the world that she still hasn’t stopped traveling. Since 2005 Lindsay has worked, studied and traveled in 37 countries, first as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow and currently as a Tour Leader for National Geographic Student Expeditions and Adventures Abroad Worldwide Travel. Lindsay came across a copy of Putinger’s Map in October while leading a group through Croatia.
With the vast capabilities of today’s technology, we tend to take for granted the fact that it is possible for us to know virtually everything about a place before we get there. But how did people know what to expect when they undertook a journey before the advent of Google Earth, guidebooks, travel agents, and tour companies?
I recently came across one answer to this question while underneath the Roman Arena in the town of Pula, situated on the southern tip of Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula. Mounted on the basement wall of the ancient arena is a copy (actually, a copy of a copy) of an equally ancient map, today known as the Tabula Peutingeriana, or Peutinger’s Map. The map is an itinerarium; an ancient Roman road map that gave travelers an idea of the distances between towns and other points of interest. It was not intended to accurately represent the geography of the empire; in fact, it could be more easily compared to today’s subway maps – displaying stops along a road network while leaving out information that was not of immediate use to the traveler.
Keep reading Lindsay’s full post on her blog!