Martin Waldseemüller was a German cartographer who, along with Matthias Ringmann, was credited with the first recorded usage of the word America. On 25 April 1507 at a meeting of the Gymnasium Vosagense at Saint Diey in France, he produced a globular world map and a large 12-panel world wall map using the information from Columbus and Vespucci’s travels (Universalis Cosmographia), both bearing the first use of the name “America”.
The name America is placed on what is now called South America on the main map. As explained in Cosmographiae Introductio, the name was bestowed in honor of the Italian Amerigo Vespucci. The map is drafted on a modification of Ptolemy’s second projection, expanded to accommodate the Americas and the high latitudes. The wall map consists of twelve sections printed from woodcuts measuring 18 by 24.5 inches (46 cm × 62 cm). Each section is one of four horizontally and three vertically, when assembled.
In the seventh chapter of the Cosmographiæ Introduction, written by Matthias Ringmann, it is explained why the name America was proposed for the then New World, or the Fourth Part of the World: “But now these parts have been more widely explored, and also another fourth part has been discovered by Americus Vesputius (as will be heard in the following), and I do not see why anyone should justifiably forbid it to be called Amerige, as if “Americus’ Land”, or America, from its discoverer Americus, a man of perceptive character; since both Europa and Asia have received their names from women.”
The wall map was lost for a long time, but a copy was found in Schloss Wolfegg in southern Germany by Joseph Fischer in 1901. It is still the only copy known to survive, and it was purchased by the United States Library of Congress in May 2003. Five copies of the globular map survive in the form of “gores”: printed maps that were intended to be cut out and pasted onto a wooden globe. Only one of these lies in the Americas today, residing at the James Ford Bell Library University of Minnesota; three copies are in Germany (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, LMU Munich, Stadtbibliothek Offenburg), and one is in London, UK, in private hands. (Source: Wikipedia)