John Smith, mapmaker

Among his many talents, explorer and early Jamestown resident Captain John Smith could count mapmaking. A map created by Smith in 1608 of the Chesapeake Bay river system has been compared recently with modern maps and found to have a "stunning level of accuracy."

According to geoscientist Michael Scott, [Smith is] "out there in this little boat navigating the hazards of uncharted territory and he was able to capture most major bends of the rivers and everything is pretty close to scale. His map was so accurate that it was used as the prototype of the bay for more than 100 years."