Abraham Ortelius Google doodle honors cartographer behind first modern day atlas

Today’s Google doodle marks the publication day of Abraham Ortelius’ “Theatrum Orbis Terrarum” (Theatre of the World) in 1570. Using information collected from scientists, geographers and cartographers, Ortelius’ work is credited as being the original modern day atlas.

“Within these pages, we see the first evidence of someone imagining continental drift – the theory that continents were joined together before drifting apart to their present day positions,” writes Google.

Google says Ortelius was one of the first cartographers to credit his sources by listing the names of the original map makers within his collection.

From the Google Doodle Blog:

Adding his fellow scientists’ names to the atlas wasn’t just a professional courtesy — Ortelius was known for corresponding with prominent scientists and humanists from all over Europe, a practice that yielded much insight into the great thinkers of his time.

Google highlights this detail in its doodle celebrating Ortelius with the first map featured in the animated image.

The doodle leads to a search for “Abraham Ortelius” and is being shared on a number of Google’s international homepages around the world.