Benchmarks: People &
New Maps of the WAML Region
Publications about Mapping
Other Map Organization
- GSIS: Newsletter (posted 6 months after publication)
- CUAC : Cartographic Users Advisory Council
- ANZMaps: The Australian and New Zealand Map Society Newsletter
- The presentation, RDA for Cartographic Resources, given by Kathy Rankin and Mary Larsgaard at the Hawaii meeting, is now available on the WAML website.
- WAML member Rich Soares passed away on January 4, 2013 at the age of 58. There is a photo collage and remembrance by Joe Crotts and Kathy Rankin on the WAML Memorials page. An obituary also appeared in the Chico State student newspaper, The Orion. I don't think I ever met Rich, but it appears he was a great man who will be greatly missed by the library community.
- Official announcement from Chris Kollen:
The MAGIRT Map Scanning Registry and the WAML Scanning Projects Clearinghouse have been combined together in one database. The website has been redesigned and is now available for new entries! You can find it at http://mapregistry.library.arizona.edu/. The goals of the registry are to:
* Find out what scanning is being planned, in process, or complete
for a particular geographic area
* Head off any duplication of effort
* Provide a resource to use for finding a particular digital image
* Provide a resource for reviewing the various technical parameters
used in different projects
If you have a scanning project that you'd like to add to the Registry, contact Chris Kollen (that's me!) at email@example.com or 520-305-0495.
ALA MAGIRT's first webinar, Care and Feeding of Maps: Tips for Managing Your Map Collection with Hallie Pritchett, was recorded and is available here:
The handout of resources related to map collection management is available here:
Care and Feeding of Maps: Tips for Managing Your Map Collection - Selected Resources
USGS Press Release:
First Images Released From Newest Earth Observation Satellite
WASHINGTON -- NASA and the Department of the Interior's U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have released the first images from the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) satellite, which was launched Feb. 11.
The natural-color images show the intersection of the United States Great Plains and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming and Colorado. In the images, green coniferous forests in the mountains stretch down to the brown plains with Denver and other cities strung south to north.
LDCM acquired the images at about 1:40 p.m. EDT March 18. The satellite's Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) instruments observed the scene simultaneously. The USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., processed the data....
Visit LDCM First Images to view the images.
For further information about LDCM, visit LDCM Mission.
For status and technical information about all Landsat satellites, visit Landsat Missions.
- New street view trekking from Google maps includes the Canadian arctic and some of the highest mountains in the world (this is how they did it). It's only a matter of time before a Himalayan Yeti appears in the Street View Gallery. Not to be outdone, Bing Maps has New Top of the World and High Resolution Satellite Imagery. Check out Hawaii. Furthermore, Google Earth Updated with Over 100,000 New Tours, such as The Entire Grand Canyon.
- The Future of Google Maps: Google's Chief Technology Advocate Michael Jones on How Maps Became Personal (The Atlantic)
- Looking at the Battle of Gettysburg Through Robert E. Lee's Eyes: Anne Kelly Knowles, the winner of Smithsonian American Ingenuity Awards, uses GIS technology to change our view of history (Smithsonian Magazine)
- Waropoly: How History’s Most Popular Board Game Helped Defend The Free World: Maps are harder to smuggle than you might think. They fall apart when wet, and they make a lot of noise when unfolded. Allied officials feared paper maps might draw the attention of German troops, so they turned to an unlikely source for help—silk. Not only would silk maps hold up in all kinds of weather, but they’d also come with the life-saving benefit of being whisper quiet. To produce these silent maps, the Brits turned to John Waddington Ltd., a company that had recently perfected the process of printing on silk and was already manufacturing silk escape maps for British airmen to carry. What else was Waddington known for? You guessed it—being the licensed manufacturer of Monopoly outside the United States... See also: How Monopoly Games Helped Allied POWs Escape During World War II (The Atlantic)
- Attractive, laser cut, wood charts now available at: http://www.belowtheboat.com/
- A good summary of Sanborn Maps at Wikipedia, with a list of online sources.
- Manhattan of the Mind: If New York were a blank slate, how would you fill it in? (New York Times) See also: “Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers,” is set to be published by Abrams Image in April.
- There were map related papers given (and now available online) at the UNESCO conference, Memory of the World in the Digital Age: Digitization and Preservation, held last September in Vancouver.
A Mapped History of Taking a Train Across the United States: The first steam engine railway travel took place 209 years ago today [February 23, 1804]. Here, the story of how the Civil War impeded, and then accelerated, the progress of America's trains. (The Atlantic) Especially noteworthy is the rates of travel by railroads comparison between 1930 and 2013.
- A Mysterious Patch Of Light Shows Up In The North Dakota Dark: This is odd. Take a look at this map of America at night. As you'd expect, the cities are ablaze, the Great Lakes and the oceans dark, but if you look at the center, where the Eastern lights give way to the empty Western plains, there's a mysterious clump of light there that makes me wonder... (Robert Krulwich at NPR)
- That's a lot of dots: Mapping the Census: A Dot for Every Person (Atlantic Cities). Explore the full map at Census Dotmap. This is a really cool map!
- Real or The Onion? Increasing Number Of Americans Unable To Point Out Map: An alarming new study released Tuesday by the Department of Education found that nearly 70 percent of Americans are incapable of pointing out a map when presented by researchers with a map...
Future WAML Meetings:
Conferences, Classes & Exhibitions
March 25, 2013 - August 2013 – Denver
It’s 1864, and amid the hubbub surrounding the opening of what will later be known as the University of Denver, a trend in mapping has been taking place. At face value, the maps of Denver are simply visual cues for getting from point A to point B. But if you look closely, the cartography is part of a larger, clever marketing campaign. Climate maps show Denver’s dry winds are a godsend for anyone suffering from lung ailments such as tuberculosis. A local booster produces another map praising the Front Range as the most healthful place to live. The resounding theme: “Go West.” “Every map makes a case for something, even if it’s a map of weather patterns,” says history Professor Susan Schulten, one of the masterminds behind the Anderson Academic Commons’ opening mapping exhibit, Maps: From the Local to the Global. The Academic Commons is located in University of Denver, Penrose Library, 2150 East Evans Avenue. With maps that track a wide range of American life - from disease and climate to slavery and the U.S. Census - Schulten demonstrates that the very definition of a map began to expand in the 19th century. Once limited primarily to describing landscapes and aiding in way finding, maps began to be used for more analytic and problem-solving purposes. In other cases, maps served special interests. What J.H. Flett’s 1881 hand-drawn lithograph of Denver lacks in exactitude it makes up for in beauty. In fact, businesses of the day paid the lithographer to draw their buildings in a favorable light for marketing purposes.
- April 1, 2013 - December 1, 2013 - La Jolla, California
The Map & Atlas Museum of La Jolla has an exhibition The Cartes of Jacinto 'Jo' Mora. The exhibit will feature 14 cartes--Mora's name (and the French word) for his stunning pictorgraphic maps. In additon to the five maps in the Museums' permanent exhibition, 9 other maps will be on display including the sketch map for the never-comlpleted "Santa Catalina" map and the very rare "butcher paper" version of the Los Angeles map. Other artifacts from this modern-day Renaissance cartographers' work wil be on view as well. The Museum is at 7825 Fay Ave Suite LL-A, and is open Wednesdays & Thursdays; 1st and 3rd Saturdays from 11 AM to 4 PM; also by appointment (toll free) 855-653-6277. Admission is free.
- May 11, 2013 – San Francisco The California Map Society will hold its Summer Meeting at the J. Paul Leonard Library on the campus of San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue. The speakers for this all-day symposium include Julie Sweetkind-Singer, and G. Salim Mohammed from Stanford University (How Maps Are Used In Teaching And Research At Stanford And Elsewhere); Wesley Brown from the Rocky Mountain Map Society ( How The 1859 Gold Rush Put Colorado On The Map And Influenced Colorado Maps Of Today); Dorothy Raphaely, Map Colorist (The Coloring Of Antique Maps - Practice, Methods, Advantages And Controversy); Max Kirkeberg, Ph.D, Professor Emeritus, San Francisco State University (The Changing Face Of San Francisco); and, George Clyde (The Mysteries Of The Missing Map). Program will also include tours of the library’s Debillis Collection and the renowned collections at the Sutro Library. For more information and registration contact Fred DeJarlais, President, California Map Society.
- If in Chicago early for ALA Annual: June 20-21, 2013, Chicago The Newberry Library, 60 West Walton Street, is sponsoring a symposium: Pictures from an Expedition: Aesthetics of 19th-century Cartographic Exploration in the Americas. The symposium organizers seek historians, art historians, geographers, and scholars of visual culture. The symposium will consider the aesthetics and visual culture of 19th-century cartographic exploration in the Americas. The nineteenth century represented a high point in mapping expeditions at the hemispheric level. These ostensibly scientific expeditions, which charted territories often in support of nation building projects, produced vast amounts of visual and artistic materials. This symposium will focus on this visual material addressing such questions as: What kinds of 19th-century visual practices and technologies of seeing do these materials engage? How does scientific knowledge get translated into the visual and disseminated to the public? Can looking at mapping hemispherically challenge a distinction between North American and South/Central/Latin American methodologies or practices of exploration? We are interested in all forms of visual representation, including maps, sketches, drawings, landscape paintings, photography, lithography, etc. The symposium is generously funded in part by a grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art. No registration fee is required to attend the conference. However, seating is limited. Persons wishing to attend the symposium must do so in advance by email only. Please send your, name affiliation, and contact information to: Jim Akerman, Director of the Smith. Your reservation will be confirmed by return email. Registrations will be accommodated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Additional information from Ernesto Capello, History, Macalester College; or Julia Rosenbaum, Art History, Bard College.
- September 8-10, 2013 – Fairbanks The University of Alaska Fairbanks, Department of Northern Studies, and the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library will host the International Map Collectors' Society 31st international symposium: Frozen Dreams and Delusions: 400 years of Arctic Cartography. Conference will be held at River's Edge Resort, 4200 Boat Street. There will be an opening reception at 6:00 pm on September 8, and lectures start the next morning. The closing dinner will be held at Pump House Restaurant 6:30 pm on September 10. As usual there will be a wide variety of optional trips and excursions on offer. Additional information and registration details can be found on the website.
- November 4-8, 2013 – Berkeley, California Julie Sweetkind-Singer will present a course History of Cartography/Maps at the California Rare Book School. This course is designed to provide a general overview of the history of maps in the western world as well as their use in modern day teaching and research. Topics will include the production and use of maps; the rise of the map trade in Europe and America; the role of maps as cultural and social objects; the wide variety and type of maps produced (nautical charts, city views and plans, topographic, land ownership, globes, celestial charts, etc.); the map trade; conservation issues; and the role of museums and libraries as stewards of the content.
(announcements via Cartography Calendars)
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No report this time from Paige, but see the February issue of base line for a wrap up of cataloging news from ALA Midwinter in Seattle as well as the rest of the conference.
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Maps & Web Sites of Interest
An announcement from the British Library:
I wanted to let my map colleagues know that yesterday we released a new set of historic scanned maps online for public georeferencing. We are using the Klokan Technologies Georeferencer tool for crowdsourcing the task.
In contrast to our previous, UK-only releases, the maps newly online for this project are of places worldwide. This will require greater reliance by users on online gazetteers and other web mapping tools to locate unfamiliar toponymns.
Most of the maps are 19-20th c sheets in topographic series. Nearly all are reader selections - reproductions ordered by visitors in the Maps Reading Room - which have been repurposed.
As you already know, georeferencing extends the usability and findability of maps, and allows visualisation in new ways using popular geospatial tools. The metadata that is obtained is essential to enable these maps to move in digital spheres; one immediate application is inclusion in the search portal Old Maps Online (http://www.oldmapsonline.org/) which offers geographical searching of online historic maps from numerous map collections worldwide.
Nearly 70% of maps have been completed now, and await the review stage.
There are maps of far-flung places and others with meagre information, so I suspect those may be the last to go, if they can be identified at all! The true test of the public's abilities and commitment will be in that last ten percent, I think.
Kimberly C. Kowal
Lead Curator, Digital Mapping
The British Library
96 Euston Rd.
London NW1 2DB
Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7849
An announcment from the online Broer Map Library:
Several years ago we experienced a loss which has prevented us from applying many updates to our online site, but in the past six months we have been diligently working to provide a framework for growth over the next few years. For example, last spring we launched a new placename database on our site to identify places and maps that contain that place. This tool allows users to search, not only our online resources, but those of several other online historic map collections. Currently this database is limited to our region (New England), but we expect to expand this nationally within the next few months.
We have also acquired a new wide-format scanner and have begun scanning maps again from our 40,000+ paper collection. So far we've only scanned and added about 1,000 maps to our existing online offering, but we plan to steadily continue to scan new maps as time progresses. This brings our online offering to nearly 6,000 maps in approximately 300 categories. Our collection focuses on 19th & 20th century maps, but we do have a few from outside those periods.
We have also completely updated our Website and are slowly tweaking different aspects so look for additional improvements and tools in the months to come.
You can find our Placename Database here:
and you can browse or search for our online historic maps by using the links on our homepage:
Please be aware that as we transition to the new site, some of the online maps may not load properly at first. Please be patient with with us!
Director, Broer Map Library
Librarian & Historian, Broer Map Library
February 11, 2013 - 2,745 New Maps Added: 2,745 new maps and images have been added to the David Rumsey Map Collection, bringing the online collection to 37,365 maps and related images. Highlights in this addition are Cruz Cano's large wall map of South America 1775, two miniature atlases from 1758 and 1762, maps by Aaron Arrowsmith, a large group of pocket maps, an important large wall map of Georgia 1818, three copies of Tanner's American Atlas 1823, 1824, 1833, 63 birds-eye views of the Austrian countrysidearound Vienna 1837, Emma Willard's Chronographer of American History 1845, an 1870 Union Pacific Railroad map game, the 26 sheet 1880 Map of Western Palestine (also in Google Earth), 1885 Map of Chinatown in San Francisco (also inGoogle Earth), six Panoramic Views of U.S. National Parks 1914-15, 72 years (1918-90) of official California State Highway System maps, and the 1966 Atlas of Czechoslovakia. All titles may be found by clicking on the View links or images below. Or click here to view all 2,745 new maps and images.
A Map of the Global Internet So Pretty You Can Hang It on Your Wall: Each year, a telecom market research firm called TeleGeography releases a map of the underwater cables that connect the global Internet. Past years’ maps have been merely fascinating. This year’s is flat-out gorgeous... The map is available for free online in large and interactive formats—and yes, you can also by a print copy to frame and hang on your wall. But be warned that it’s priced like the work of art that it is: $250 a copy. (Slate)
- The Osher Map Library at the University of Southern Maine has a new website with many online maps avaiable. Follow their Of Maps and History blog for updates, such as the exhibition, Iconic America: The United States Map as a National Symbol; Highlights from the Fondersmith Collection of Cartographic Ephemera.
- Here's a nice summary from Maps-L, courtesy of Carlos Diaz, of online nautical charts and weather maps:
You can find historical nautical charts at:
Coast Pilots at:
Daily Weather Maps at:
2002 - Present
More on maps and charts:
- New California Transit Map Simplifies Car-Free Travel Across the State: The new map features “both intracity and regional rail lines as well as connecting buses, proving once and for all that it’s possible to get to almost anywhere in the state on public transit.” The map ties together networks for Amtrak, BART, Muni, VTA, Caltrain, Altamont Commuter Express, Sacramento Regional Transit, San Diego North County Transit District (NCTD), San Diego Trolley, LA Metro, and Metrolink, as well as key bus and ferry connections. See: http://www.californiarailmap.com/ to download a PDF or order a poster (available in five sizes).
- Visiting the Bay Area soon? This looks like a must side trip: http://www.devilsslidecoast.org/
- Ha Ha: California for Beginners (map) (Burrito Justice)
- I may have mentioned Pastmapper before, but it wouldn't hurt to point it out again: This is the alpha (prototype) launch of Pastmapper, a new platform for describing the world of the past. San Francisco 1853
- Neato: Map Projection Transitions
- You could spend hours here: Top 101 U.S. Cities, Counties, and Zip Codes Lists. Such as, Top 101 counties with the highest percentage of residents that drank alcohol in the past 30 days. Not much to do in Rhode Island, apparently.
- It won't take long for San Diego's airport to disappear: Global Sea Level Rises on Google Maps. But most of our breweries will be okay: Finding Craft Beers with Google Maps.
- Infographic: The Average Income For Every Neighborhood In America: Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks is an interactive map showing the average income for every neighborhood in America. Type in your address, press search, and there you have it: Your city, shaded by income, according to data from an annual survey conducted by the Census Bureau. (I will point out that this site depicts Census tracts, not census blocks. It also now shows rent as well as income.)
- New illustrated map of the Pangaea supercontinent is right out of the Middle Ages: "Our world long ago with lands joined together, when first appeared beasties of fur and of feather," the map features an assortment of animals that belonged to the era. (io9) Buy the poster.
- It's that time of year: March Madness Fan Map (FlowingData)
- Map of Craigslist Missed Connections: Seen But Not Spoken To: An Atlas of Where We're (Almost) Finding Love (FlowingData)
- The Geography of Happiness According to 10 Million Tweets: Hawaii is the happiest state? Who would have guessed... (The Atlantic)
- Proceed at own risk: An interactive map of places with slightly dirty names (io9) profiles Vaguely Rude Place Names of the World mashup
- Shucks, sold out: World Map of Cats