Perhaps it's been awhile since you studied geography. Here are 13 milestones in the field:
1. 2900 B.C.-The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt is built. Perfectly square at the base and is aligned perfectly on North, South, East, and West lines.
2. 2300 B.C.-A map of the city of Lagash in Mesopotamia is carved in stone in the lap of a statue of a god…..it is the oldest known “city map”
3. 530 B.C.-The Pythagoreans teach the Earth is a sphere and not in the shape of a disk.
4. 240 B.C.-Eratosthenes calculates the circumference of the earth with near accuracy
5. 190-120 B.C.-Hipparchus, a Greek astronomer, is the first to use latitude and longitude.
6. 271 A.D.-Magnetic compass is used in China
7. 1000 A.D.-Vikings colonize Greenland and “discover” America, establish a colony in Newfoundland. Their stay is brief and has no lasting impact. The word discover has quotes around it because there are several theories concerning others who were first to discover, and let's not forget that the Native Americans who lived there already knew about it. :)
8. 1275 A.D.-Marco Polo arrives in China, enters the service of Kublai Kahn. Polo’s book appears in 1299.
9. 1375 A.D.-The Catalan Atlas is completed by Abraham Cresques and was commissioned by the King of France. It contained stories concerning the riches of Mali that told tales that gold “grew like carrots” and was brought up “by ants in the form of nuggets” and was mined by “naked men who lived in holes.”
10. 1405 A.D.-Chinese begin voyages in Indian Ocean under Admiral Cheng Ho who was later known as the Chinese Christopher Columbus for his wide ranging voyages.
11. 1492 A.D.-Columbus lands in the New World though he believes he has reached the Asian continent.
12. 1497-98 A.D.-Vasco da Gama becomes the first European to sail to India and back.
13. 1507 A.D.-the Walseemuller map names the New World after Amerigo Vespucci, not Columbus. There are other theories regarding how the continent received the name America besides the "Amerigo" story.
You can visit other 13s here.