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The use of nautical charts

The use of nautical charts

Nautical charts were regarded as state secrets between Portugal and Spain. During the fabulous age of great discoveries, whenever captains and pilots returned from an expedition, their notes were plotted on nautical charts. The world was being drawn at breakneck speed, while Europe claimed ownership of its riches. Any trustworthy information relating to commercial routes was so guarded as a precious secret that governments kept their charts and surveys under lock and key: they were seen as crucial to national security. Several of these magnificently illustrated charts still exist today. Just like Pigafetta’s book, they will be filmed and photographed so as to continuously illustrate the story.

A map with more modern lines will be the common thread to follow the Armada’s navigation. It will be animated to reveal coastal layouts and visualize the position of each boat, since the adventure was played out across the globe in waters that remain unknown to this day, and the ships were separated more than once. We will see coastlines being traced as the Armada progresses. The names of capes, bays, and seas will be written as Magellan names the new lands they encounter. Latitudes will be pinpointed regularly; pilots make these daily to position a ship on the ocean, which offers no reference points. The Victoria’s log still exists today. We will be filming the original manuscript in the Seville archives to adorn our evolving map with points, capes, and plots, using the same calligraphy and words that were used exactly five hundred years ago.