On behalf of the Western Association of Map Libraries (WAML) executive board, thank you to all who took the time to complete the WAML 2020 Conference Opinion Survey.
The survey had 70 responses. A summary of survey results, including basic descriptive statistics, is found at the following (bitly-shortened) Google Drive link: https://bit.ly/3cQD2FM.
The survey produced insightful feedback on respondents’ thoughts about the on-going pandemic, fiscal constraints, and other concerns that pose significant impact on WAML 2020 conference activities. Based on this feedback the WAML executive board this morning voted to move the event to a virtual format.
The WAML 2020 Conference will be held entirely online October 14-16, 2020. Full conference details will be announced over the coming weeks on the conference website.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has altered our lives in innumerable ways, WAML remains committed to supporting the continued advancement of the map and geospatial profession through its annual conference and other activities. We hope you all join us online in mid-October for a dynamic and engaging event!
Director | Maps, Imagery, Geospatial Services
Map and Geospatial Hub | ASU Library
WAML member Stanley Stevens’ book, Names on the Map: History of the 1889 “First” Official Map of Santa Cruz County, California will be published this fall by the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (it should be available at this link). It will include biographical sketches of the principal participants, plus reproductions of the Hatch Map of 1889 and a complete index to landowners names depicted on the map. For historians and genealogists.
From Peter Stark, former WAML member and map librarian at the University Oregon, has completed a monumental illustrated, multi-chapter reference work entitled Names, Boundaries, and Maps: A Resource for the Historical Geography of the National Forest System of the United States, which is now being mounted on two free publically accessible websites: The National Museum of Forest Service History & The National Forest Service Library. The complete announcement is part of this issue.
WAML member Jim Coombs, Associate Professor of Library Science and the Maps and GIS Librarian at the Missouri State University Libraries, retired on May 15th, after over four decades of praiseworthy service to the profession of maps librarianship. Jim is also the creator of the “Great Moments in Map Librarianship” cartoon, the first 30 years in book form can be purchased here. Is this his last cartoon?
UC San Diego will receive a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award from Esri at their Virtual User’s Conference (July 13-16). The case study, UC San Diego Makes GIS Accessible Across Campus, provides background on the basis of the award. Students across fields as diverse as business, data science, oceanography, and urban planning are accelerating their geographic information system (GIS) adoption with the help of synergy between the University of California (UC) San Diego Library, led by WAML member Amy Work, and its Information Technology Services (ITS) department, to streamline access to ArcGIS through a single sign-on (SSO) experience.
- Recent open source organization journals and newsletters roundup:
- ALA MAGIRT base line
- Australian and New Zealand Map Society: ANZmapS
- Calafia: The Journal of the California Map Society
- Geoscience Information Society Newsletter
- Lattitudes: The Newsletter of the Washington Map Society (this link worked better for me)
- Mapline: A Publication of the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library and the Chicago Map Society
- The Philip Lee Phillips Map Society of the Library of Congress Newsletter
- Scottish Map Forum: Cairt Newsletter
- Terra Digitae – Newsletter from the David Rumsey Map Center
- Texas Map Society: The Neatline
- Map Time on Instagram Live is a series of short conversations with experts on maps and mapping from across the globe. The Harvard Map Collection and the Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center at the Boston Public Library will host on Instagram Live at the Harvard Map Collection’s Instagram. Past events are available on the Map Collection’s YouTube playlist. Some of the experts include usual suspects like Susan Powell and Guerrilla Cartography, Andria Olson on OSS maps (see also the story map The European Fronts And Digital Engagement with Paper Maps), and Stace Maples on a map by Theodor Seuss Geisel.
- The Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center at the Boston Public Library recently hosted an online series of map lectures entitled “Angles on Bending Lines: Curator Conversations”, which are available on Leventhal Center’s Facebook page and YouTube See also: the online exhibition, Bending Lines: Maps and Data from Distortion to Deception and the corresponding virtual lecture on July 30th described below.
- The Behind-the-Scenes Map Cataloger In June 2015, Phil Hoehn, the former Maps Librarian at the University of California and the David Rumsey Map Collection at Stanford [and WAML member], took on the daunting task of organizing the California Historical Society’s vast map collection. Although details of each map were unknown at that time, what we did know from an earlier inventory was that the California Historical Society (CHS) had over 45 drawers of flat sheet maps dating back to at least 1800 (including maps in atlases and books where cartographers depicted California as an island) as well as early mining, railroad, and irrigation maps, bound volumes of Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, and boxes of large rolled maps spanning all the counties in California.
- MAJOR UPDATE: Online Rumsey Maps Reach 100,000. 2016 additions compiled
The most recent Recent Additions blog post was five years ago at davidrumsey.com. Since then, more than 41,000 new maps and images were added, bringing the total online collection to over 100,000. They are splitting the 41,000 updates into four blog posts of about 10,000 maps each, divided roughly into the years following the last post – 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.
- Over at Stanford’s David Rumsey Map Center, Salim has launched a Youtube page which includes recent lectures, including Chet Van Duzer on Portraying the World Anew: Martin Waldseemüller’s Carta Marina, Emanuele Lugli on When Measurements Were Monuments: The Making of Measure and the Promise of Sameness, and Betsy Mason on her book All over the Map. You can also view the panel videos from the Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference on Cartography 2019: Gender, Sexuality, Cartography held last October.
- NatureServe Releases Map of Biodiversity Importance on Esri’s Living Atlas of the World: Unveiling the first high resolution view of where our nation’s most imperiled species are found
NatureServe’s newly released Map of Biodiversity Importance is now available on Esri’s Living Atlas of the World, providing an unprecedented, high-resolution view of the places that matter most for sustaining our nation’s biodiversity. By applying cutting-edge machine learning technology to 50 years of field data collected by the NatureServe Network of Natural Heritage Programs, including ecologists, botanists, and zoologists across the United States, the Map of Biodiversity Importance arms resource managers and conservationists with critical information needed to strategically address the extinction crisis…. There are 15 map layers, now available on Esri’s Living Atlas. Users can interact with these data and analyze them using the ArcGIS Platform. You can access the Map of Biodiversity Importance resources on NatureServe’s Hub site or Esri’s ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World.
- Michael Hertz — You’ve Surely Seen His Subway Map — Dies at 87
In 1979 his firm came up with the New York City subway map that is the basis for the one still used. [New York Times]
- The M.T.A. vs. a D.I.Y. Cartographer
Jake Berman, a lawyer, got so frustrated with the official subway map that he designed and sold his own. Then the M.T.A. came after him. [The New Yorker]
- From the British Library’s Medieval manuscripts blog:
An atlas fit for a Tudor queen
The Tudor period saw Britain transform into a major maritime power, boasting a formidable navy and sending ships on voyages of exploration around the world. With this transformation came a surge of interest in maps and map-making at the Tudor Court.
A few weeks ago, we announced that we had digitised the Burghley Atlas (Royal MS 18 D III), an important Early Modern collection of maps made for Elizabeth I’s principal minister Sir William Cecil. Today, we are highlighting another newly digitised item, widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of 16th-century cartography: The Queen Mary Atlas (Add MS 5415 A). A direct link to the digital record: http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=add_ms_5415_a_f005r
- Spy Agency’s Challenge: How To Sort A Million Photos A Day
When the U.S. government took its first satellite photos in 1960, it wasn’t easy getting those pictures back to Earth. After the satellite took the pictures, the film was dropped from space in a capsule attached to a parachute. A military plane with a large hook flew by to collect the capsule in midair over the Pacific Ocean. ‘”They called the pilots who flew these missions ‘star catchers,’ because they were catching what looked like stars falling from the sky,” said Katie Donegan, with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or NGA. [NPR]
- The Philadelphia Print Shop West in Denver has a YouTube page with a series of on-line lectures related to antique maps and prints from one of the premier galleries in the country. Lectures are by Christopher W. Lane, who has been in the business for over three and a half decades, including over 20 years as print and map expert on Antiques Roadshow.
- See how your city’s climate might change by 2020 is a story map from National Geographic that will zoom in to your location and show how it’s climate zone might change. This is pretty horrifying: Hanoi, Vietnam, is different. Its climate will feel like no place that currently exists on Earth. Its future, and that of 90 other cities around the globe, has no direct analog, or comparison, to any climate in the world today.
Conferences, Classes & Exhibitions
Upcoming conferences for the rest of the year will probably be canceled or will be held virtually.
Here are some that have happened recently, or are scheduled.
Recent virtual conferences with viewable content online:
The International Society for the History of the Map (ISHMap) conference took place June 12-13. Presentations and other material will be made available on the ISHMap website after the Symposium when permission is granted to do so. The schedule with descriptions and lecture notes can be viewed here.
The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS), the professional hub for the academic GIS community in the United States, held an online symposium June 1-4. Most of the session presentations are available via YouTube.
Upcoming online and still in-person events (for now):
July 30, 2020 – Washington (Online) The Washington Map Society is offering a virtual lecture via Zoom. Anyone interested in participating in the meeting must RSVP to John Docktor at washmap(at)gmail.com in order to receive the meeting ID and passcode. Meeting will start at 7:00 PM eastern time. Garrett Dash Nelson, Curator of Maps and Director of Geographic Education at the Leventhal Map and Education Center at the Boston Public Library will be speaking about his new exhibition, Bending Lines: Maps and Data from Distortion to Deception. The virtual exhibition can be viewed online.
August 27, 2020 – Washington (Online) The Washington Map Society is offering a virtual lecture via Zoom. Anyone interested in participating in the meeting must RSVP to John Docktor at washmap(at)gmail.com in order to receive the meeting ID and passcode. Meeting will start at 7:00 PM eastern time. Libby Bischof, Executive Director of the Osher Map Library at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, will be discussing her recent exhibition, Mapping the Classroom: Teaching Geography and History in the 19th and 20th Century New England. Libby Bischof, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education and Professor of History at the University of Southern Maine. A visual historian, Bischof curated Mapping the Classroom for the OML in 2019. A digital version of the gallery exhibit is available online.
September 25-27, 2020 – San Francisco The San Francisco Map & Print Fair (still scheduled) will take place in the Forum at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street. The Fair is sponsored by the History in Your Hands Foundation a non-profit organization with a mission to provide classrooms with authentic, historical objects in an effort to help foster a more enriched learning experience. The lecture series portion of the San Francisco Map Fair will be sponsored by the California Map Society. It will consist of three 40 minute lectures followed by a 10 minute Q & A period.
September 26, 2020 – New York (and online) Eric Sanderson, author of “The Mannahatta Project” and “Terra Nova,” will present an update on his Welikia Project. Venues: Virtual, via Zoom, AND onsite — we hope! — at Avenues: The World School, Headquarters, 11 East 26th Street (between Madison and Fifth Avenues), 17th Floor, New York, NY 10011. Please RSVP to MapSocietyNY(at)gmail.com. “We’re going beyond Mannahatta, launching the Welikia Project to encompass all of New York City circa 1609: Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and surrounding waters. Welikia means ‘my good home’ in Lenape, the original Native American language of the region.”
October 14th-17th, 2020 – NACIS Conference (online) Updates will appear on the Annual Meeting page. It’s not clear whether this will be an open meeting, or if you have to be a NACIS member to participate. Last year’s conference videos can be viewed on their YouTube page. There are 134 (!) videos from last year.
October 31, 2020 – New York (and online) The New York Map Society plans to meet virtually, via Zoom, and onsite — we hope! — at Avenues: The World School, Headquarters, 11 East 26th Street (between Madison and Fifth Avenues), 17th Floor, New York, NY 10011. Please RSVP to MapSocietyNY(at)gmail.com if you plan to attend. Meeting will start at 2 PM. Lars Grava will speak on: At the Edge of Empires – Maps of the Baltic States”. Lars, in a reprise of his Fall 2019 presentation to the Washington Map Society, will discuss how maps have more than two dimensions, as they also illuminate political, societal, cultural, and economic features of the geographies they depict.
November 12-15, 2020 – New Orleans Join us in the Celebration of our 60th Anniversary at Society for the History of Discoveries Annual Meeting in 2020! The 2020 SHD Annual Meeting will be hosted by the Williams Research Center, which is part of The Historic New Orleans Collection. Consisting of the museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. As usual, the SHD meeting is planned as a three-day event, consisting of opening reception on Thursday evening followed by conference program on Friday and Saturday. There will be a one day trip (optional) on Sunday. Theme is New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta: Cultural Crossroads.
November 21, 2020 – New York (online) The New York Map Society plans to meet virtually, via Zoom, and onsite — we hope! — at Avenues: The World School, Headquarters, 11 East 26th Street (between Madison and Fifth Avenues), 17th Floor, New York, NY 10011. Please RSVP to MapSocietyNY(at)gmail.com if you plan to attend. Meeting will start at 2 PM. Dr. Larry Tise will speak about his recently co-authored book: “Theodore de Bry — America: The Complete Plates from 1590-1602”. Dr. Tise will discuss his research in writing the book and will show many of the beautiful maps and native Americans depicted.
February 14, 2020 – February 28, 2022 – Oakland
We all use maps in our everyday lives—to navigate public transportation, find places to eat, and visualize big data like weather patterns or political opinions. But have you ever considered the deeper stories maps tell us? In You Are Here: California Stories on the Map, you’ll discover there’s more to maps than meets the eye. Showcasing a diverse range of maps from Oakland, the Bay Area, and California—from environmental surroundings and health conditions to community perspectives and creative artworks—experience how maps can be a powerful tool to share unique points of view and imagine a better future. Explore new perspectives of familiar places through maps made by the community, and mark your own stories on the community map inside the exhibition. The exhibit encompasses more than 50 maps divided with segmented focus on climate change, nature, public health, community projects, and maps from a personal perspective. It can be viewed in Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St.
For other events, see:
New Maps & Web Sites of Interest
- Obligatory sites for COVID-19: it’s pretty much a two-shop stop with the COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) for world data, and for U.S. data COVID-19 Trends for U.S. Counties from Esri.
- Two online image collections from American Geographical Society Library:
- The GIScience YouTube channel has been around for a few years, but it’s a recent discovery that features a variety of tutorials, hands-on exercises, and educational videos related to Geographic Information Systems or GIS and related topics. Recent videos include “How to Create Coronavirus Maps with Free Tools and Data” and “How to Create Coronavirus Dashboards with Maps and Charts using Free Tools and Data”.
- The newish website Atelier Ideas & Research includes a census of the digital collections and archives which provide free access and downloads of their cartographical documents. Recent highlights include the Osher Map Library, David Rumsey Map Center, University of Minnesota UMedia Libraries, American Geographical Society, Princeton University Library, Brigham Young University, among others.
These sites that aren’t new, but they’re new to me (or maybe I forgot about them):
- Since 2018, Story Maps from the Geography and Map Division at the Library of Congress have used immersive web applications that tell the incredible stories of the Library’s collections through narrative, multimedia, and interactive maps.
- Mapping History: Produced at the University of Oregon, the Mapping History Project has been designed to provide interactive and animated representations of fundamental historical problems and/or illustrations of historical events, developments, and dynamics. The material is copyrighted, but is open and available to academic users. There are dozens of entries which cover American, European, Latin American, and African history.
- The Bodleian’s Map Room Blog has been highlighting maps from the Oxford library since 2012, such as the 319 pubs, breweries, beer houses and other licensed premises found on the Drink Map of Oxford from 1883
- Visual Capitalist is a data visualization site which features maps in many of their graphics. Most are related to current events or trends, but there are also more topical maps such as this Incredible Map of Pangea With Modern-Day Borders.
- These maps aren’t exactly new, but they’re new to reddit’s Map Porn. You’ve heard of story maps, but how about portrait maps? Here’s “The Voyage of the Pequod from the book Moby Dick by Herman Melville“, a portrait map by Everett Henry. (higher res)
- I have to admit I haven’t been following D.C. statehood closely, or that this federal enclave would be created (unlikely with current senate and president).
Publications about Mapping
- Strategies for Planning and Selecting Maps for Exhibits, Displays and Workshops
This is a guest post by Kathy Hart, Head of the Research Access and Collection Development Section in the Geography and Map Division. Libraries and museums often feature maps and related geographic content in digital and analog, large or small exhibits, displays and workshops. When considering the variety of materials available, how does one select the material that will best inform and inspire the visitor? The following are some factors to consider. [From the blog: Worlds Revealed: Geography & Maps at the Library of Congress]
- JUST RELEASED for all to read: Lauren Bouchard Killingsworth’s prize-winning article on “Mapping Public Health in Nineteenth-Century Oxford.” It appeared in The Portolan, Journal of the Washington Map Society (Issue 101 – Spring 2018). Click HERE for hi-res version of article or HERE for lo-res version. More free articles from The Portolan are available here.
- Where are people moving? This a Esri story map showing patterns of movement in the United States over the past year. People move for many reasons whether it’s for work, school, families, or to make a fresh start in a new city. We can track interesting patterns by looking at movement data from American Community Survey (ACS) maps in Living Atlas.
- Interesting coronavirus perspectives via Bloomberg’s MapLab:
Collecting the Maps of the Coronavirus Pandemic As the Library of Congress archives visuals about coronavirus, it is documenting a dramatic expansion in the forms and functions of maps — and their makers. An interview with John Hessler, a specialist in modern cartography and GIS at the Library of Congress, who is collecting the maps of the coronavirus pandemic.
- How 2020 Remapped Your Worlds Through homemade maps, readers shared perspectives and stories from a world transformed by the coronavirus pandemic. Some great maps here! This is a rendering of San Diego, which is pretty close to my world the last three months.
- Mapping slavery and emancipation by Andrea Renner, Stanford University Library