Teaching Resource: Newton's World. Interactive Map.

James Poskett Discussion

I hope the following will be of use to all those teaching the history of science:

We’re of course all familiar with Simon Schaffer’s pioneering work situating Isaac Newton’s Principia in its global context.
To my knowledge, there isn’t an accessible version of that information or map freely available online. So I spent a few days going through the Principia and the secondary literature, and inputing all the locations and individuals into a spreadsheet. And then outputting into JavaScript and a Leaflet map.
A few notes:
  • This is very much a teaching resource, not a scholarly edition.
  • Each location / person appears only once, even though Newton often refers to them in multiple places in the Principia.
  • I have not included any additional interpretation—the idea is students reflect on the meaning and significance of the connections, and do their own research.
All the data can be downloaded freely and reused as you like here.
And if you want to read a little bit more about the motivation behind the website, I wrote a short article for the Warwick Global History and Culture Centre blog here.
If you have any additions, corrections, errors, or suggestions, please do get in contact via the email below.
And if you use this webpage in your teaching or elsewhere, I'd love to hear about it. Just drop me an email.
All the best,
James Poskett