"map-making projects in South America and Africa"

Throughout history, map-making projects have constantly been underway across the world, with cartographers adding to existing maps as new areas were explored. The great map-making age was the 15th and 16th centuries, when explorers such as Columbus set off around the world and cartographers were able to produce detailed navigation charts, globes and the first whole world map. Before the arrival of aerial photography in the twentieth century and the satellite technology used today, however, map-making was a complicated process involving overland travel and despite the skill of cartographers many errors were made in maps.

Styles have also varied throughout the ages – in the medieval ages and up until the 17th century maps were very decorative, but by the 19th century all unnecessary ornamental features were discarded. The arrival of railway travel meant that maps could be produced quicker and in more detail, and steel engraving was used as an efficient method of mass-production. Some of the most well-known British cartographers of the period were John Tallis and Company, Robert Moresby, George Bradshaw and Matthew Flinders.

A couple of map-making histories can be found here:

Antique Maps and Prints

A Brief History of Maps and Cartography