Brazil in 40 historical maps
The name Brazil or Terra do Brasil was introduced by Portuguese explorers. It is derived from pau-brasil, meaning "red-wood". The word refers to a kind of timber which can be found scattered across the country. The similar Latin word brasa also refers to red-hot embers. The eastern coastline of Brazil - and (South) America in general - appeared for the first time on the world map of Alberto Cantino in 1502 and earlier on the manuscript map of Juan de la Cosa in 1500. The large world map of Martin Waldseemuller in 1507 was the first printed map that incorporated the new discovered land. The name America appeared on the map identifying the new discovered land. After realizing that Columbus - and not Amerigo Vespucci - had discovered the new continent, Waldseemuller changed the name in "Terra Incognita" on his later maps (e.g. in his atlas published in 1513). The new city Brasilia was built in 1956. It became the capital in 1960 (to replace Rio de Janeiro).