On the Origin and Evolution of the Nautical Chart, International Workshop, Instituto Hidrográfico, Lisbon, Portugal, 4-5 June 2020

The Interuniversity Centre for the History of Science and Technology (CIUHCT) – Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon – announces the International Workshop​ ON THE ORIGIN AND EVOLUTION OF THE NAUTICAL CHART at the Instituto Hidrográfico, in Lisbon, on 4-5 June 2020

Homepage: https://www.portmeeting.org/about-acerca

This meeting aims to further the discussion opened in two previous workshops held in Lisbon in 2016 and 2018, and attended by leading experts on the History of Cartography.

Since the preceeding workshops, considerable progress has been made on critical questions pertaining to the origins of European nautical cartography. The theme of this third workshop has been broadened to encompass a greater chronological and topical scope.

As in the previous editions, the workshop focuses on key issues surrounding the genesis and evolution of the medieval portolan chart. In addition, the meeting will emphasize new methods for the study of old nautical charts in general, including cartometric tech-niques of geometrical analysis and material examina-tion.

Important dates

  • November 2019: call for papers launched

  • December 31st, 2019: deadline for the submission of abstracts

  • January 2020: announcement of accepted papers

  • February 2020: announcement of the programme

The main objective of the workshop is to bring together researchers interested in the history of nautical cartography. In this third meeting the scope has been enlarged to include not only the genesis and evolution of the medieval portolan chart but also nautical charts in general. The proposed themes of the workshop are:

  • When, where, how and why the earliest nautical charts were constructed, and how they evolved over time;

  • The mutual influence between medieval portolan charts and traditional maps of European and non- European origin;

  • How the first latitude charts were constructed following the introduction of astronomical navigation, and how they evolved over time;

  • The use of pre-Mercator nautical charts at sea;

  • The role of multidisciplinary approaches to the research on old nautical charts: cartometric methods of analysis, numerical modelling, multispectral analysis, material characterization, carbon dating, etc;

  • Any other subject related to the history of nautical cartography, especially concerning pre-Mercator charts.

The Interuniversity Centre for the History of Science and Technology (CIUHCT) invites paper proposals for the International Workshop on the Origin and Evolution of the Nautical Chart to be held on June 4-5, 2020, at the Instituto Hidrográfico, Lisbon, Portugal.

The event will be integrated within the activities of the European Research Council Project MEDEA-CHART, hosted by the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon.

Instructions for submission

All submissions are to be made via email to  by December 31st, 2019, with the subject heading ‚Nautical Chart Meeting Lisbon 2020’.

Submissions should include an abstract (up to 400 words) and a short curriculum vitae (up to 200 words) highlighting previous work related to the meeting themes. The two texts are to be sent as a single Microsoft Word file attachment.

The themes of the proposals should comply with the workshop’s aim (please check Aim and Themes for a list of suggested topics). Proposals will be assessed by a scientific committee and authors will be notified in January 2020.

The meeting will be conducted is English, and all texts and presentations should be prepared accordingly.



Centro Interuniversitário de História das Ciências e da Tecnologia (CIUHCT)​

Faculdade de Ciências

Universidade de Lisboa

Building C4, 3rd Floor, Room 7

Campo Grande

1749-016 Lisboa


(+351) 217 500 197