Perhaps it is the results of having given birth to a bouncy English translation of a document that, prior to that, seemed to have been sired by Borat.
But that's work stuff, and I digress . . .
I would like to share this link with you guys. I found it via the journal of liadethornege, who in turn found it in Jane Stockton's webpage.
As you can see, it is the link to the online version of the Civitates Orbis Terrarum, a series of maps published in Cologne in 1572 by a pair of Dutch gentlemen named by Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg. It eventually ended up containing 546 prospects, bird-eye views and map views of cities from all over the world and it is considered the first true world atlas.
I have been intending to write an article on this -- Fashion and the Civitates Orbis Terrarum -- for a while, and I will still do so in my copious spare time. One of the most interesting features of the COT is the little figures in the corners of most maps, dressed in the fashion allegedrly worn in the town in question.
The thing is, the Dutch -- and the people from the Low Countries in general -- were obsessed with the costumes people wore. When they drew a map, painted a picture, or designed a tapestry, they did pay a lot of attention to dress.
And no, the gentlemen referred to above were not responsible for tapestries, but the Valois tapestries were allegedly made by Flemish artists, based on some drawings by the French artist Caron.
The point is, this site contains the majority if not all of the copies of the maps. And if you look at the country you are interested in, finding the little people and blowing the pictures up to see the detail is a lot of fun.
It is like finding Waldo.