Research@StAndrews
 
The University of St Andrews

Research@StAndrews:FullText >
Mathematics & Statistics (School of) >
Applied Mathematics >
Applied Mathematics Theses >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10023/2152
This item has been viewed 28 times in the last year. View Statistics

Files in This Item:

File Description SizeFormat
The full text of this document is not available.pdfPlaceholder document2.61 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Title: Mathematics for history's sake : a new approach to Ptolemy's Geography
Authors: Mintz, Daniel V.
Supervisors: O'Connor, John J.
Gratwick, Adrian
Keywords: History of mathematics
Ptolemy
Geography
Historical maps
Issue Date: 22-Jun-2011
Abstract: Almost two thousand years ago, Claudius Ptolemy created a guide to drawing maps of the world, identifying the names and coordinates of over 8,000 settlements and geographical features. Using the coordinates of those cities and landmarks which have been identified with modern locations, a series of best-fit transformations has been applied to several of Ptolemy’s regional maps, those of Britain, Spain, and Italy. The transformations relate Ptolemy’s coordinates to their modern equivalents by rotation and skewed scaling. These reflect the types of error that appear in Ptolemy’s data, namely those of distance and orientation. The mathematical techniques involved in this process are all modern. However, these techniques have been altered in order to deal with the historical difficulties of Ptolemy’s maps. To think of Ptolemy’s data as similar to that collected from a modern random sampling of a population and to apply unbiased statistical methods to it would be erroneous. Ptolemy’s data is biased, and the nature of that bias is going to be informed by the history of the data. Using such methods as cluster analysis, Procrustes analysis, and multidimensional scaling, we aimed to assess numerically the accuracy of Ptolemy’s maps. We also investigated the nature of the errors in the data and whether or not these could be linked to historical developments in the areas mapped.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10023/2152
Type: Thesis
Publisher: University of St Andrews
Appears in Collections:Applied Mathematics Theses



This item is protected by original copyright

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

 

DSpace Software Copyright © 2002-2012  Duraspace - Feedback
For help contact: Digital-Repository@st-andrews.ac.uk | Copyright for this page belongs to St Andrews University Library | Terms and Conditions (Cookies)