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News & Notes

Current Issue: September - December 2012   |    Previous Issues    |   Submit a Tidbit


Benchmarks: People & Jobs

  • WAML President, John Ridener, has taken a new position at Urban Mapping. John, congratulations and best of luck.

New Maps of the WAML Region

Publications about Mapping

  • A new list of articles from Phil Hoehn. This is Phil's last contribution. Tnaks, Phil! If anyone would like to take over compiling a similar list, please contact me.

  • An interesting list, indeed: Simon Garfield's top 10 books with maps: From Winnie the Pooh to Grayson Perry, the author charts the best writing about the indispensable tools for reading the world. And a review of his book, On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks (U.S. title). See also: his piece, Mapping American Writers.

  • The author of the new book, A History of the World in Twelve Maps, Jerry Brotton, was featured in this interview at NPR.org.

  • New Book: Mapping the Nation: History & Cartography in 19th Century America: In Mapping the Nation, Susan Schulten traces the rise of new forms of mapping and graphic knowledge in American life. From statistical mapping to historical atlases, Americans confronted entirely new ways to think about cartography in the nineteenth century. [The site includes high res images of maps found in the book.]

  • From the Editors of Journal of Map & Geography Libraries:

    We would like to announce that the latest issue of the Journal of Map & Geography Libraries is now published.  Volume 8(3) includes papers on a wide variety of topics and perspectives:

    Data Enhancement and Standardization Using AIS and GIS: A Public and Private Effort by Samir Dhar & Peter Lindquist

    Developing the Online Atlas of Oregon Lakes by Richard Lycan, David Banis, Will Garrick, Morgan Harvey, Rich Miller & Mark Sytsma

    Local History Maps in Full Text Resources by Kathleen Weessies

    An Aid to Analyzing the Sustainability of Commonly Used Geospatial Formats: The Library of Congress Sustainability Website by Nancy J. Hoebelheinrich

    Saving the Ratzer Map: Lessons Learned in the Conservation, Restoration, Management and Publicity of Cartographic Resources by Carolyn Marie Hansen

    Online Georeferencing for Libraries: The British Library Implementation of Georeferencer for Spatial Metadata Enhancement and Public Engagement by Kimberly C. Kowal and Petr Pridal

    Geography, GIS and Gaming: Learning Tools or Just for Fun?  by John A. Olson


    The Journal of Map & Geography Libraries is published three times a year by Taylor & Francis and receives manuscripts on an ongoing basis.  The journal publishes international research on the collecting, organization, and utilization of geographic and cartographic materials and information.
    Recent special issues were on Crisis Mapping, Vol. 8(2) (2012) and Geographic Issues in Medicine, Vol. 7 (1&3) (2011).  Our next themed issue will be on Working Digitally with Historic Maps. More information about the journal can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/wmgl20

    The co-editors can be contacted at jmgl.editors@gmail.com

    We look forward to hearing from you,

    Kathy Weimer and Paige Andrew, co-editors, Journal of Map & Geography Libraries

  • Birlinn Limited, in association with the National Library of Scotland, have just published a limited facsimile edition of Bartholomew's 'Survey Atlas of Scotland', 1912.

    The atlas contains introductory texts on Scotland's history, geology, climate and population, a history of Scottish cartography, thematic maps of Scotland, 45 large topographical maps at half-inch to the mile covering the whole of Scotland, and town plans of the major cities. In addition we have included the thematic mapping (mammals, birds, reptiles, deer forests, and languages of Scotland) that appeared in the 1895 edition but not in the 1912 edition, so that all the maps produced for the two editions of this great atlas can be seen in one place. For those wishing to browse, there is a version of the Bartholomew Survey Atlas online.

    The facsimile atlas includes two introductory essays, one on the atlas's creator, John George Bartholomew, and the other on the making of the Survey Atlas, using material from the Bartholomew Archive.

    With this publication, Birlinn/NLS have completed the 'Great Atlas of Scotland' publishing project, with limited edition facsimiles of the Blaeu Atlas of Scotland (1654), the Roy Military Survey (1747-55), and John Thomson's atlas (1832).

    Further details of the Bartholomew Survey Atlas of Scotland facsimile from: Bartholomew Survey Atlas of Scotland, 1912.

    The Survey Atlas of Scotland limited facsimile edition can be purchased at a standard price of £100, but if you order before 31 December, there is a discount of £25. To receive this discount please call 0845 370 0067 (Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm) and quote 'NLS12'.

    Chris Fleet
    Senior Map Curator
    National Library of Scotland

Other Map Organization Journals

  • GSIS: Newsletter (posted 6 months after publication)
  • CUAC : Cartographic Users Advisory Council
  • ANZMaps: The Australian and New Zealand Map Society Newsletter
  News | Conferences | Cataloging | Canadiana | New Maps & Web Sites



Other News

  • USGS Press Releases:

  • National Atlas Delivers New Million-Scale Digital Map Data

    What's "1"?  It’s the new set of digital cartographic frameworks from The National Atlas of the United States of America®. Prepared at one million-scale (where an inch on a map is nearly 16 miles) this authoritative and integrated national dataset has twice the detail of previous versions.  Users can now easily find “one” using popular search engines or portals like Data.Gov; get it as documented data or Web map services from nationalatlas.gov and other sources; and use "one" in their geospatial analyses, maps, or map mashups.
    This is the first time the Federal government has ever released these basic digital map themes at 1:1,000,000-scale:

    • Boundaries (national, state, and county)
    • Transportation (roads, railroad, railroad stations, airports, and ports)
    • Surface waters (coastlines, streams, gaging stations, waterbodies, and wetlands, all fully networked)
    • Cities and towns

    This new release serves as the foundation for small-scale maps and datasets on the Nation's people, heritage, and resources. The new map data is delivered at no cost and is available on-line as a web map service from nationalatlas.gov
    "For more than 130 years the USGS has been the 'go to' source for quality maps and authoritative map content," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. "The new million-scale digital series continues this proud tradition, providing users with multi-million uses only limited by their imaginations."
    By moving to one million-scale, the National Atlas achieves two goals to better serve national and international audiences.  First, map features have been harmonized at the U.S. borders of Canada and Mexico with data from national mapping programs in those nations for use in the Environmental Atlas of North America.  Also, a second edition of the data that conforms to the specifications of the Global Map is ready.  Global Map is an international effort by government mapping organizations to make a consistent map of the world at one million-scale                                                                                                              
    Future releases are scheduled to include:  Federal and Native American lands, Congressional Districts, U.S. Statistical areas and more.
    The National Atlas of the United States®is a cooperative effort to make geographic information collected by the United States government easier to find, get, and use.  Its development is led by the U.S. Geological Survey.

    National Geologic Map Database Gets a Face Lift

    The U.S. Geological Survey and the Association of American State Geologists (AASG) partner to launch a redesigned database of standardized geoscience information, the National Geologic Map Database (NGMDB).

    In concert with the inaugural, multi-agency Geologic Map Day, the USGS and AASG are pleased to release a significantly updated infrastructure and a new "look" to the NGMDB. For example, the MapView features a visually compelling new interface that uses the latest technology to portray the Nation’s geologic maps published by the USGS, the state geological surveys, and many others. These maps, available from the NGMDB in several popular and easy to use formats, can be viewed in detail and downloaded from the various publishers.
    "Students, resource professionals, government managers, and anyone else who needs easy access to large amounts of geologic information that is authoritative, quality controlled, and accurately georeferenced are going to appreciate the new map viewer for geoscience information," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. "We are grateful to the enduring partnership with our colleagues at the many State geological surveys which has enabled coordinated data delivery to the public at large."

    This online resource, mandated by Congress as a State-Federal partnership, is the result of a 17-year joint venture. The mandate is to provide rapid access for resource managers, scientists, and the general public to well-documented and standardized geoscience information that can be used to support research, understanding, and decisions on a wide breadth of societal needs. With this redesign, the NGMDB further enhances its ability to fulfill that mission.
    For further information, visit the National Atlas website.

  • Announcement regarding the Digital Atlas of Historical County Boundaries:

    The Newberry Library's Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture is
    delighted to announce the launch of an updated and expanded edition of the digital Atlas of
    Historical County Boundaries. The Atlas provides comprehensive data and downloadable
    shapefiles on the formation, development, and fluidity of county borders within the territory of
    the United States from 1629 to 2000. Updates to the digital Atlas of Historical County
    Boundaries include:

    · An enhanced user-interface.

    · New National Data: Interactive maps with supporting shapefiles and metadata. These
    maps allow the user to view the development of county borders on a national scale
    from 1783–2000 (http://publications.newberry.org/ahcbp/index.html).

    · Boundary Animations of U.S. Historical County Boundaries (1629–2000), as well as
    State and Territorial boundaries (1783–2000).

    · A national synthesis of the Atlas's individual state files-work.

    First launched in 2010, the Atlas represents more than twenty years of work compiling county
    lines from research in state laws and other primary sources. It offers comprehensive information
    for counties in all fifty states, which makes it a powerful research tool for individuals and
    institutions alike. The Atlas is an authoritative reference for scholars and researchers in areas as
    varied as history, politics, geography, journalism, law, and genealogical studies. With the help of
    ArcIMS software, users can access interactive maps that allow them to compare counties across
    historical periods for every state. Users can download files for use in GIS systems and Google
    Earth, as well as printable PDFs.

    The National Endowment for the Humanities provided the principal funding for this project; the
    Newberry served as sponsor and home base; and private individuals and foundations contributed
    significant additional support to this project. The Newberry Library is the copyright holder; all
    files of the digital Atlas of Historical County Boundaries are free for use under a Creative
    Commons License. All queries should be directed to: scholl@newberry.org

  • Elephant-Shaped Buildings and Other Curiosities: NYPL's Map Librarian Talks About Making Historical Geography a Part of the Internet (Huffington Post)

  • Google Maps Gets a Makeover: Google Maps has gotten a fresh new look, adding some "visual improvements" to its design. The application now lets users get a clearer view of natural geography by showing terrain and color gradations to illustrate vegetation. It also includes labels for natural land formations. (Mashable) From Google: Get a better view of natural geography with Google Maps

  • Google Maps lets you explore the Earth's city lights at night with NASA/NOAA's Black Marble imagery: Google Maps has launched a new layer called Earth at Night 2012 using data from NASA’s Earth Observatory and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The data is referred to as Black Marble imagery because of its unique view of the planet’s city lights at night. See also: Earth at Night 2012 and High-Res Images of Cities at Night (YouTube).

  • Mapping of the Arctic with Street View

  • Google's Street View Now Available on Mobile Browsers

  • Apprently, Apple's new map app has a few problems... Hey, Apple: Mapping Takes More Work than You Think: Apple's apology suggests it may underestimate how much effort is needed to build a great map app.

  • Apple and Google Compete to Build, Maintain More Perfect Digital Mapping System (video and transcript; includes an interview with David Rumsey) (PBS NewsHour) For the full interview, see this David Rumsey blog post: PBS NewsHour Story links Apple, Google, and Historical Maps: The October 31, 2012 edition of the PBS NewsHour had a story by Spencer Michels on the competition between Apple and Google map services, and it included an interview with David Rumsey on the "cartographic continuum" between old paper maps and new digital maps.

  • A trio of timely articles from The Atlantic: Red State, Blue City: How the Urban-Rural Divide Is Splitting America, The Geography of Gun Violence in Cities and Metros and How Bad Will Climate Change Get for the Eastern U.S.? Look at These Crazy Maps.

  • Los Angeles librarian is all over the maps: Glen Creason, map librarian at the downtown Central Library, helps preserve a street-by-street history of Los Angeles.

  • Saved from Dumpster: Amazing map collection makes librarians tingle* A Mount Washington home slated for demolition yields a trove of maps, including one from 1592. The acquisition gives the city library one of the country's top five library map archives. (*ok, who is tingling?)

  • Podcast: A Los Angeles map from 1942 causes a big stir in 2012: Jo Mora's famous map is now available as a print (Southern California Public Radio) See also: this story (LA Observed).

  • Virginia Garrett, a distinguished map collector and philanthropist, passed away in April at the age of 91. A founding member of the Texas Map Society, she was the sponsor of the biennial Virginia Garrett Lectures on the History of Cartography at the Univeristy of Texas, Arlington. See also: the Spring 2012 issue of The Neatline, A Newsletter of the Texas Map Society.

  • Birmingham library friends preserving 1926 Jim Crow-era map that promoted racial zoning (The Birmingham News)

  • Guerrilla Cartographers Put Global Food Stats On The Map (NPR.org)

  • Ha Ha: A College Football Rivalry Immortalized by Map Bunnies (Mental Floss)

  • Hand-drawn maps of an imaginary kingdom are artist's autobiography/confessional: Map of Refractoria (Boing Boing)

  • The world's flags given letter grades: A: Cuba, Gambia, Israel, Japan, Pakistan, Somalia, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, Vietnam, F: Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands

Future WAML Meetings:

Conferences, Classes & Exhibitions
  • Vegetation Mapping Workshop 
    UC Berkeley and Mount Tamalpais
    Jan 16-18, 2012
    Please join the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and Aerial Information Services (AIS) for a three-day, vegetation mapping workshop. 
    This workshop is a combination of field and computer exercises in fine-scale vegetation mapping.
    Target Audience: Professional botanists, ecologists, resource managers, GIS and vegetation  mapping specialists. Participants should have an initial understanding of the subject matter and of GIS.
    Details and Registration: http://www.cnps.org/cnps/education/workshops/

  • CalGIS 2013 is presenting a student contest to allow full conference admission for two winning projects!
    Please see the website for complete details. Deadline to submit is January 28, 2013.
    Students can apply now at www.calgis.org. The conference will be held in Long Beach, April 15-17, 2013.

  • April 9-13, 2013 – Los Angeles Attend the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers for the latest in research and applications in geography, sustainability, and GIScience. The meeting will feature over 6,000 presentations, posters, workshops, and field trips by leading scholars, experts, and researchers. Sessions will be organized around featured themes and relevant topics, such as: Urban Planning & International Development; Cultural Geographies; Climate Change; Geography Education; Human Geography & GIScience; Physical Geography; Geographies of Health; Social Justice; And More!

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Cataloging News

    The report this issue by Paige Andrew is lengthy and is therefore available on a separate page.

Canadian News

    No report this time from Tim.

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New Maps & Web Sites of Interest

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News & Notes editor: Michael L. Smith
Last modified: December 19, 2012
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