Published by the U.S. Department of Defense, the map series of which this modern map of Jamaica and Haiti is part, had its origins in an ambitious international project, known as the Millionth Map or the International Map of the World. The idea, conceived by German geographer Albrecht Penck, was to create a series of 2,500 topographic map sheets that would cover the planet, all in the same scale of 1 centimeter equals 10 kilometers (or 1:1,000,000).
In 1913, an international conference established standards and practices for the project, giving each participating country responsibility for creating its own maps. Although the project was eventually taken over by the United Nations, funding and international enthusiasm soon waned. After World War II, several countries (including the United States and the United Kingdom) published their own world map series at a scale of 1:1,000,000.