World maps took their final form after the travels of explorers in the 15th century.

In the early 15th century, Europeans had a good geographical knowledge of Europe and the Mediterranean basin, but only a vague idea of Africa and Asia.

They also suspected that the Earth was round but did not know its dimensions well.

In the late 16th century, European explorers discovered the east coast of North America, Central America, the coasts of South America and Africa, and much of Asia (Siberia, India).