The Smithsonian Institute has a special exhibition through September 16th at the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery which is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The exhibition is called “Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries“. I’m really disappointed I just found out about it, because I was in Washington just two weeks ago – and I really enjoy learning about the early great mariners and explorers. The exhibition tells the tale of early exploration and world trade by the Portuguese and has all kinds of cartographical delights. Not only that, but the Smithsonian Institute has put together a Google Earth file to whet your appetite and help you learn a bit about the travels during this period. Definitely worth a look if you are at all interested in the history of early global exploration, world trade, and mapping. The new file is featured at the Google Earth Gallery this week.