Islamic Cartography علم الخرائط الإسلامي

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Islamic Cartography: A Bibliography of modern literature

While I am writing my dissertation (“The depiction of the Mediterranean in late Islamic cartography: from the 13th to the 16th centuries”) I started compiling all bibliographic entries that are directly related to the topics of Islamic cartography. Then I thought it would be quite helpful to share the list of the “modern literature” on the subject with whoever interested in Islamic cartography. In fact I realized since I was preparing my PhD proposal how scarce the bibliography of modern literature of Islamic cartography is. One of the indications was the presence of many studies that touches only lightly on the subject and, yet, they would be considered as part of such “modern literature”. Therefore I went through the process of selecting which “modern literature” really focuses on the subject of Islamic cartography and which is not. Another reason for compiling this database is obviously its absence whereas we have detailed bibliographic indexes in other fields, especially “western” cartography including in the web. The case of the bibliographic databases provided through Maphist is filling an enormous gap in that sense. Still we find only very few studies relevant to Islamic cartography.

Many of the selected modern studies focus only on cartography. There are some studies, however, focusing on Islamic geography, which are included because of their high relevance to Islamic cartography. Obviously in geographic-cartographic works (really “atlases” as Konrad Miller once described them) like al-Idrisi’s Nuzhat al-Mustaq, studies of the geographic descriptions are highly relevant for the study of the cartographic representations accompanying them. Studies on Islamic art are included only if they deal directly with cartographic representations. This not a bibliography of Islamic astronomy; the most detailed bibliographies in this field are provided in David King’s works notably his 1999 World-Maps for Finding the Direction and Distance to Mecca; and his 2004 In Synchrony with the Heavens.

This is just an individual endeavor and it could never accomplish its goals without corrections and additions by fellow colleagues working in the field. That is why I am posting it in my “Islamic Cartography” blog so that it would not be only available to the public but it would be subject to additions and corrections by whoever willing to do so (by either posting in the comment sections or sending an email to: or Therefore I call for everyone to contribute to this modest initiative. Because it is an individual endeavor the entries will be posted gradually following the alphabetical order of the authors’ names. Obviously the pace of the posts will depend on my ability to compromise between writing my dissertation and compiling bibliographical entries, which, I am afraid, are not the same thing!

Finally this bibliographic inquiry is based on my personal encounter with many entries. But it could never be made without precedent compilations notably the bibliographical index of The History of Cartography, Vol. 2, Book. 1. Cartography in the Traditional Islamic and South Asian Societies (1992). I am also indebt to later, more updated works including the bibliographies of:

Ebel, Kathryn Ann. City Views, Imperial Visions: Cartography and the Visual Culture of Urban Space in the Ottoman Empire, 1453-1603. Unpublished PhD Thesis. The University of Texas at Austin. 2002.

Loupis, Dimitros. Diffusion of Skill in the Mediterranean World. Ottoman Navigational Technology during the 16th Century Seen through Sailing-Directions Manuals. Unpublished M.A. Thesis. Bilkent University. 2004.

Orbay, Iffet. Istanbul Viewed: The Representation of the City in Ottoman Maps of the Sixteenth Century and Seventeenth Centuries. Unpublished PhD Thesis. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2001.

Pinto, Karen, C. Ways of Seeing.3: Scenarios of the World in the Medieval Islamic Cartographic Imagination. Unpublished PhD Thesis. Columbia University. 2002.

For the first post, which lists studies of authors whose last names begin with the letter (A), see: this link (


At 11:06 AM, Blogger Ian said...

This is going to be a wonderful resource. Thank you for making it available.

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Mazhar Hussain Shah said...

Really nice info so for.
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Free Chapter Down load.

At 1:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to lineage 2 adena Our WoW Gold, wow power leveling Online Maple Story mesos Store wow gold for World Guild Wars Gold Of Warcraft power leveling, Cheap 2moon dil WoW Gold, FFXI Gil World Of lotro gold Warcraft Gold, final fantasy gil warcraft goldlord of the rings gold

At 6:49 AM, Blogger Asa said...

Hi, what would you recommend for a secondary source article(s) on Abbasid 9/10th cent Islamic geographers such as Khuradadhbih, Ibn Hawqal, Istakhri, Muqaddasi, etc.?

At 3:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assalam walakum,

This blog is a very nice blog, I have found it very beneficial to know more about Islam. Thanks for sharing the information.

At 3:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post. SEO is a strategy which is useful for small business and also for large business sector. It is a new marketing strategy which has been successful in all fields. For marketing choose Affordable SEO Services.

At 6:07 PM, Blogger King Bayern Munich said...

This is a great article, supplies the useful information for me, thanks in this
soft sofa
Long span shelving
baby stroller
oil paintings
outdoor ceramic tiles
casual shoes
oil paintings

At 12:58 AM, Blogger xiamenb2c02 said...

Top quality of ecco shoes are developed for discerning customers.Enjoy a great selection of newest ecco shoes on sale,free shipping,110% price guarantee.Top quality of ecco shoes is your best chooice for daily life and working,sport,and so on.And hot sale now winter Boots .fashion on the outside,warm on the inside.

At 2:40 PM, Blogger nedox said...

Wonderful information, I will save this and show it to my friend, she is huge fan of this. It's been a pleasure to read your post.
Hannah from SheepArcade
If you like to play games, visit sheep arcade and play poker games and much more free games.

At 9:13 AM, Blogger sping.chen said...

Glad to see all the speakers, really wonderful content. Do not know if you like Nike mercurial soccer cleats or Nike soccer cleats and Nike Football Cleats,Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly with New nike soccer shoes.


Post a Comment

<< Home