Sixteenth-Century Bulge on the Coast of Chile


  • A. Terry Bahill Systems and Industrial Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ 85704, USA



This paper traces the sixteenth-century addition and removal on maps of a bulge on the southern coast of Chile. Abraham Ortelius was primarily responsible for these changes and many cartographers followed his lead.Then, Ortelius rotated the coastline of Chile from northwest to north. Later, he dropped the latitude of the islands of San Pablo and Isla de los Tiburones down six degrees. He named the Amazon River “Río de las amazons.” Finally, he removed the cities with fake Native-American-sounding names along the Pacific coast of North America. The research underlying this paper examined over seven-hundred sixteenth-century maps made by sixdozen cartographers. This paper cites five-dozen maps by four-dozen cartographers. In the traceability section of this paper, this information was condensed into a traceability diagram, which shows the chronological flow of information among a score of cartographers. Using this information, this paper traced the influence of one cartographer on another: it showed who influenced whom. It showed the spread of knowledge. Ortelius was at the center of most of this knowledge explosion.


Coast of Chile, Evolution of maps, Traceability, Sixteenth-century world maps, Nautical charts, Systems engineering


[1] Becharius, F., 1403. Francischus becharius cuius lanue [con]posuit, Genoa, Yale University, Beinecke Library. This is a Portolan chart.

[2] Valjarević, A., 2020. The Size of the Ecumene of the Mediterranean in Ancient Times. Journal of Geographical Research. 3(4), 1-7.DOI:

[3] Nunn, G.E., 1934. Magellan's route in the pacific.Geographical Review. 24(4), 615-633.DOI:

[4] Albo, F., 1874. Logbook of Francisco Albo, in Antonio Pigafetta, The First Voyage Round the World,translated by Lord Stanley of Alderley, London,

[5] Cortesao, A., 1939. António Pereira and His Map of Circa 1545: An Unknown Portuguese Cartographer and the Early Representation of Newfoundland,Lower California, the Amazon, and the Ladrones.Geographical Review. 29(2), 205-225.

[6] Bahill, A.T., Gitzen, G.D., 2021. The Amazon River Modeled as a Giant Snake, KN - Journal of Cartography and Geographic Information. 71(3), 173-194.DOI:

[7] Hébert, J.R., 2021. The 1562 Map of America by Diego Gutiérrez, Library of Congress,

[8] Van den Broecke, M., Van den Broecke-Günzburger,D., 2021. Cartographica Neerlandica. This is presumably the biggest collection of Ortelius maps.

[9] Shirley, R.W., 1983. The Mapping of the World:early printed world maps 1472-1700, London, Holland Press. This is the ‘bible’ of sixteenth and seventeenth-century nautical world maps. pp. 145.

[10] Wallis, H.M., 1951. The first English globe: A recent discovery, The Geographical Journal. South America is two pages after page 282. Stable URL:,275-290. DOI:

[11] Drake, F., 1628. The World Encompassed by Sir Francis Drake.

[12] Christy, M., 1900. The silver map of the world a contemporary medallion commemorative of Drake's great voyage (1577-80) a geographical essay... H.Stevens, son, & Stiles in London.

[13] Gitzen, G.D., 2014. Edward Wright’s World Chart of 1599, Terrae Incognitae; The Journal of the Society for the History of Discoveries. 46(1), 3-15.

[14] Bahill, A.T., Madni, A.M., 2017. Discovering Systems Requirements, Chapter 4 in Tradeoff Decisions in System Design, Switzerland, Springer International Publishing.

[15] Bahill, A.T., 2021. The Second Engraver of the Library of Congress Mystery Map, International Journal of Cartography.DOI:


How to Cite

Bahill, A. T. (2022). Sixteenth-Century Bulge on the Coast of Chile. Journal of Geographical Research, 5(2), 11–27.





Download data is not yet available.