A map is more than a geographical representation of a land. It is an image which mirrors a society's political, religious and cultural vision of itself. The Map Makers tells the story of maps through history and explores major developments in map making. Episode One - The Waldseemuller Map 1507 The first episode in the series of The Map Makers is a story of a map which changed the way man viewed the World. It is the tale of a ten million dollar map which has become known as the 'birth certificate of America'. Within the lines marked on its surface can be traced the first discoveries of the 'new world', by sixteen century explorers such as Columbus, and Amerigo Vespucci. But why were the new lands called America, and who were the men who first named the new continent on the famous Waldseemuller map? The intriguing history behind the map is revealed. Episode Two - The Mercator Atlas The second episode uncovers the shadowy world of espionage in 16th Century Europe, a time when map making and spying went hand in hand. It features Gerard Mercator, the most famous map maker to have lived, who became caught up in a dangerous plot to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I using an invasion map orderd by England's enemies, the French. It is a story of intrigue, treason and religious turmoil, with map makers at the heart of the struggle for power in Europe. Information was power in European royal courts, and fragile maps were the key. Episode Three - The D-Day Invasion Maps The last episode in The Map Makers focuses on a time in history when thousands of men and women risked their lives to create a set of top secret invasion maps during World War II. Allied service men and women worked alongside French Resistance members in covert operations to create a 'living map' of the Normandy coast. The resulting invasion maps were the most extensive ever to have been created, combining aerial photography and intelligence information. The invasion maps were critical to the success of the D-Day landings, and ultimately the defeat of Hitler's regime.