Afternoon Map: Because Looking at History is Easier than Reading About It.

Anıl Duman, Uykusuz (February 7, 2013)
Our mission is and will always be to make Afternoon Map the number one Ottoman/Turkish/Middle Eastern/Balkan cartography blog on the internet by bringing you a range of original, visually appealing and intellectually engaging maps harvested from archives and libraries around the world. We hope these maps will appeal to history buffs, travelers and map enthusiasts alike, and to that end we have tried to provide some background for each map, at times even some analysis, without descending into the pedantry that accompanies so much academic writing on cartography. At the same time, we hope historians and other researchers will find these maps useful for their work. We firmly believe that every book needs more maps, and would be delighted if these maps could be useful toward that end. Finally, please send contributions, corrections or comments to Nick Danforth: nick.danforth - @ - gmail.com.


The Afternoon Map is a member of MENAlab, a constellation of independent internet destinations focused on the history, society, and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. We are dedicated to presenting open-access and advertising-free content generated by scholars and researchers from a variety of disciplines. Currently our sites include:
Ottoman History Podcast: a weekly internet radio program in English and Turkish offering interviews with scholars and researchers on emerging topics in the study of the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East
Tozsuz Evrak: a close to the source document blog displaying primary sources and archival materials intended for use by researchers
Afternoon Map: a cartography blog dedicated to presenting quality maps with a maximum pixel-to-word ratio
HAZİNE: a resource for information on archives and libraries for researchers working on the Middle East and beyond
Stambouline: a history blog where travel and art/architecture of the Ottoman Empire meet
Tajine: an academic blog and podcast about the Maghreb (launching January 2014)

Our header features an image from the Carte drôlatique d’Europe pour 1870. See the whole map and read about its history here


  1. Congratulations for your blog I've discovered just today! Thank you for sharing your work on the Net!
    Etienne Copeaux

    1. Thank you. After seeing your comment I was embarassed to realize we'd only mentioned your non map related work on the blog so far. Benjamin Fortna recommended your book to me years ago and it was one of the first things that got me really interested in the politics of maps. Nick

  2. Great blog! as an map enthusiast and passionate of Mediterranean culture, i really enjoy visiting your page!
    if you know similar blogs or webpages about these topics, please share the links
    François from France

  3. I've discovered your blog in an ominous occasion. Your "Russians are Coming" maps are actually circulating on Facebook as so-called evidence of how the Canal Istanbul Project —as redundant as it is— was originally a U.S. design (and therefore how AKP government blindly serves to U.S. interests, i.e. Americanization of the Black Sea by by-passing Montreaux Treaty). So, the narrative goes, Demirkapı Defense Line is another proposed canal. Thought you may be interested in how a 70 year old map can still become a tool of petty propaganda.

    Anyway, I am grateful to that Facebook message, though, for it led me to your blog. I truly enjoyed it. Congratulations, and thank you.

    Bulent Cinar

    1. Thanks. Indeed conspiracy theory fueled views of that post now make up about half the site's traffic! I'd hadn't seen the bit about by-passing the Montreaux Treaty, which is an admittedly clever bit of conspiracy logic. The ridiculous part is that if anyone should know enough Turkish military history to recognize the Catalca Line it's these people...

  4. I love your site to pieces. Thanks for making the effort.

  5. Nick -- I work at a DC non-profit that has a partnership with District of Columbia Public Schools to do professional (and curricular) development with DCPS middle school social studies teachers. Would you consider doing a workshop for middle and high teachers at the next district-wide PD day on October 18...or perhaps at the February one? I heard you on PRI's The World and think more DC teachers need to know about Afternoon Map and hear from you. We wouldn't be able to pay you, unfortunately, but perhaps you have some desire to impact what happens in DC classrooms. Please contact me if you're at all interested. Thanks.
    -- Cosby Hunt, Center for Inspired Teaching (cosby@inspiredteaching.org ; 202-462-1956)

  6. It's indeed a pleasure to 'look' at the mysteries behind the history dimmed by the mist of time in your blog.
    Great work!!!!!!!!! Thank you for such a good endeavour and amazing articles based on wonderful cartography...
    Best Wishes.

  7. Great Work, congratulations. I came across your blog on facebook and simply loved it. In history, it is imperative to list the facts based on archeological, philological facts. Otherwise, it will be a distortion which will affect future generations. I believe in an effort to assist your works, Sinan Meydan's works will greatly be appreciated. His studies on Turks, middle east are astounding. Should an English translation is needed, please contact me so that I can contribute to your blog. Thank you

  8. Hi -- I would like to get in touch with the author of this blog to ask a question regarding one of the maps posted here. How can I do that? You could also contact me at elisha.mesarevet@gmail.com

    Thank you!

  9. I am writing about the Turkish map of the US from 1803, crediting you with English translation from Slate, and I'm wondering about the border shown with Canada. Article Two of the Treaty of Paris should set the border, no? Could some of those lines be the work of the border commission established later in the Jay Treaty?

    1. So as a historian of Turkey not colonial America the best information I can offer is most likely this cartographer would have relied on British maps in preparing this. Most likely for something like that he would have gone with whatever they had.

  10. I found your blog very interesting and I was thinking that maybe you would like to participate in our scientific journal "Diacronie"; we are going to pubblish a new issue about Contemporary history of Turkey during 2015; here you can find the call for paper and more informations: http://www.studistorici.com/2014/09/19/cfp23_en/
    If you are interested, contact us to: redazione.diacronie@hotmail.it We are looking for an international participation, so please popularize thi cfp! Thanks; best regards,
    Matteo T.
    Diacronie - Studi di Storia Contemporanea (www.diacronie.it)

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