The Age of Discovery, also called the Age of Exploration, is a historical period of European global exploration that started in the early 15th century and continued until the 18th century. It is usually regarded as a bridge between the Middle Ages and the Modern era, in the context of emerging western imperialism and economic competition between European kingdoms seeking wealth through the establishment of trade routes and colonies. Among many great explorers during this period, the most outstanding one was Christopher Columbus since he discovered the New World. European overseas expansion led to the rise of colonial empires, with the contact between the Old and New Worlds producingthe exchange: a wide transfer of plants, animals, foods, culture, and so forth.This represented one of the most significant global events concerning ecology,agriculture, and culture in history. European exploration allowed the global mapping of the world, resulting in a new world-view and distant civilizations acknowledging each other.