This work provides an intellectual context of exploration. The author asks, how did explorers and their patrons understand the expanding world and their place in it? What were they really seeking, and how did they believe they could achieve it? How did they balance the known and the unknown in their minds? Historical maps are important in answering these questions, and this book displays the geographical ideas of the explorers themselves, through the maps they used or the new maps which they caused to be made. The power that came with increasing technological and geographical knowledge is made plain by the European empires that grew out of conquest, annexation and exploitation. There are maps, which although they seem innacurate and imaginative, serve as reminders of the gaps in people's knowledge. Up until very recent times, as maps show, there have been areas of the world remaining to be explored and "new found lands" to discover.