Lucius W. Chapman journal  1864
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Though Italy did not become a major colonizing force in the Western Hemisphere in the 16th and 17th centuries, its scientists and philosophers retained an interest in expanding knowledge of world geography and astronomy. With reports from explorers, Italians and other Europeans began to create maps of the world showing North and South America and the Atlantic Ocean, complemented by newly developed navigational grids depicting lines of latitude and longitude, by which sailors and others venturing into unknown territory could determine their position. These advances in cartography and geography were aided by developments in astronomy, which allowed for more reliable navigational tools.