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LIFE Magazine: The New Portrait of Our Planet

Map: WLD4473
Cartographer: LIFE Magazine
Title: The New Portrait of Our Planet
Date: 1960
Published: New York
Width: 50 inches / 127 cm
Height: 36 inches / 92 cm
Map ref: WLD4473
This large and spectacular world map provides an unusual portrait of the Earth with all of its water removed. It was compiled over the course of two years by the cartographer Kenneth Fagg and the artist Tony Petruccelli from scientific data gathered around the world during the International Geophysical Year 1957-8. As the text below the map explains, this is one of the first accurate, scientific maps of the seafloor. At the time of publication in 1960, more was known about the surface of the moon than about the bottom of the sea, making this an important first portrait of a familiar yet alien world.

Two smaller hemispheres show the seafloors under the Arctic and Antarctic. The ocean's ridges, trenches, and mountains are named and depicted in stunning relief, exaggerated by a scale of 40:1 for emphasis. The colour on the map refers to the type of sediment found on the seafloor: red for red clay; green for debris from land; yellow and grey for "plankton oozes".

Printed colour. Laid down on archival linen. Framed. [WLD4473]