Originally drawn in 1604, Discripsao chorographica dos estreitos de Sincapura e Sabbam. ano. 1604 (Chorographic Description of the Straits of Sincapura and Sabbam 1604 A.D) is one of the earliest maps to depict pre-colonial Singapore, and more importantly, identifies recognisable names of places – Sunebodo (Sungei Bedok), Tanamena (Tanah Merah), Tanion Ru (Tanjong Rhu) and an island called Blacan Mati (Pulau Blakang Mati or Sentosa) – along its eastern coast. The map refers to the main island as Sincapura – one of several early names given to the island. Another early name for Singapore, as recorded by Flemish merchant Jacques Coutre in the early 1600s, was “Ysla de la Sabandaria Vieja” or “Island of the Old Shahbandaria”. On this map the term “xabandaria” (shahbandar’s or harbour master’s compound), which is marked near the Singapore River, confirms this early reference. This map – which is part of a manuscript entitled Declaracam de Malaca e India Meridional com o Cathay  – is also important because it is one of the earliest to indicate the various maritime channels around Singapore.…