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Tampa Bay History Center 500 Years of Florida Maps exhibit: The 12 maps that got Florida way, way wrong

7:29 AM, Sep 20, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- If you think you know Florida, we're about to open your eyes to a whole lot of new ways to look at the Sunshine State.

The widest-ranging collection of maps of Florida ever assembled in one place opens this weekend, and it's at the Tampa Bay History Center in Channelside.

It's called "Charting the Land of Flowers: 500 Years of Florida Maps," but there's a map here that's even older than that.

You know Columbus came to America in 1492 -- they have a map here from 1493. It's the only one here that does not show Florida at all.

The rest show Florida as a work of art or as something completely wrong -- like Florida as an island.

The maps in the exhibit show the different ways people have seen Florida and Tampa Bay over the years.

You'll find the first printed map ever use the word Florida, the first map with the word Tampa on it, And the very first city maps of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Ybor City.

Hanging here is also the first photo of Florida taken from space by an American. John Glenn snapped it as he hurtled overhead. 

The most recent map is actually a photo, provided to the Tampa Bay History Center by 10 News.

Astronaut and Clearwater High School graduate Nicole Stott took the stunning picture of Tampa Bay from the International Space Station.

This year marks the 500th Anniversary of Ponce de Leon naming Florida and "Charting the Land of Flowers" is one of the biggest parts of that celebration.

The exhibit opens Saturday here and will be on display through mid-February at the Tampa Bay History Center, just east of the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Downtown Tampa.

Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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