As the first European printed image of the Aztec capital, the first European map of the Gulf of Mexico, and the first map to use the names Florida and Yucatan, the 1524 map of Tenochtitlan from Cortes’ second and third letter earned a place in the history of cartography (Figure I). This map, published in Nuremberg to accompany the Latin edition, is commonly mentioned in histories of cartography, but scholarship about this map is relatively general, with the exception of a few historians’ efforts. The prevailing scholarship revolves around its possible authorship, while issues of the map's function and cultural meaning within visual culture are largely missing. In fact, J. Brian Harley notes that the latter type of analysis is rather scarce in most cartographic histories:
What is missing in the history of cartographic literature are studies of the theoretical frameworks which might be appropriate for the reconstruction of such meaning in maps.