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In the German description of the map, we can read ‘If you lay this map down correctly, you can see which town lies to east or west to which towns, and similarly, to north or south.’ The man who wrote these lines was highly thoughtful, he wanted to tell everyone to use the map correctly. This short text, however, provides no information about the correct directions.

The directions written on the frame can only be corrected if we rotate them counter clockwise by 45°. The alignment of the map differs from the one used today, in that the corner is oriented to north, not one of the sides. The most common explanation for this was that otherwise the map wouldn’t fit the printing blocks. (Download of Google Earth file)

However, it is likely that Apianus, after this map, had two other, similar sized maps printed, and both of them are oriented correctly.

As a result of this, we are sure that the map was rotated not because the equipment, but because the editor’s instructions. Georg Tannstetter wanted the map to be a vertical rectangle, with the title and the crest inside the frame.

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