Detailed antique engraved map centered on the Arabian peninsula, published in Edinburgh by John Thomson.
Thomson's map is one of the best large format English atlas maps of the period. It includes towns, roads, rivers, mountains, islands, deserts, and a host of other information.
The map provides a nice depiction of the routes across the "Arabia Deserta", including notes on a good water source at Tshah Haffer and the two main pilgrimage routes to Mecca (36 days) and Medina (35 days), with additional wells and water sources noted.
The route of the Indian Caravans between Katif and Mecca, and on to Jidda area also noted, along with coastal roads.
In the Emirates, Katif, Bahrein and Samahe are shown on the north coast, with Catura in the center of the so-called Pearl Bank. Curiously few place names are shown in the area of Dubai and Abu Dhabi).
John Thomson (1777-ca. 1840) was a commercial map publisher active in Edinburgh. He specialized in guide books and atlases and is primarily known for his Atlas of Scotland (1832) and the New General Atlas, first published in 1817 and reissued for the next quarter century. The New General Atlas was a commercial success—it was also published in Dublin and London—and it compiled existing geographic knowledge in compelling ways for a wide audience.
His Atlas of Scotland introduced new geographic information and was the first large-scale atlas of Scotland to be organized by county. It provided the most-accurate view of Scotland available before the Clearances. Work on the atlas began in 1820 and led to Thomson’s bankruptcy in 1830 due to the high costs of gathering the latest surveys and reviewing the required materials. Despite the publication of the atlas, Thomson declared bankruptcy again in 1835.