Firelei Báez Paints on Rumsey Maps

 Artist Firelei Báez has opened an exhibition of new paintings at the James Cohan Gallery in New York City (March 5 - April 25, 2020). In many of these paintings Báez uses Rumsey Collection historical maps as the background for the works, with the maps enlarged and printed on canvases up to ten feet. David Rumsey provided the ultra high resolution map images necessary for printing at such a scale. The James Cohan Gallery describes Báez's art as work that "casts diasporic histories into an imaginative realm, re-working visual references drawn from the past to explore new possibilities for the future. Often depicting strong, shape-shifting female protagonists, her paintings incorporate motifs sourced from regional mythologies and historical artifacts alongside cues from science fiction and fantasy, to envision identities as unfixed, and inherited stories as perpetually-evolving... For more than a decade, Báez has painted directly onto found cartographic or printed materials to disrupt the boundaries they serve to delineate. Questioning notions of past and present, mark-making and painterly gesture become means of situating subjugated personal memory and experience in dialogue with narratives of the Western tradition. The works in her exhibition carry forward this long-standing interest while upscaling source materials onto large-format canvas to allow for intervention in human-proportion." Images of her extraordinary works and the maps underlying them are shown below.

In its booth at the 2020 Armory Show in New York, the James Cohan Gallery had this additional work by Báez, Untitled (Temple of Time):

The complete press release for the Firelei Báez exhibition may be read here. All images of the art works courtesy the artist and James Cohan Gallery.

Early Mapping of Silicon Valley and the Web

Five pictorial maps below trace the development of Silicon Valley from 1981 to 1991. Six additional maps show the growth of the Web from 1995 to 2009. There are interesting commonalities between the maps, the first group of five showing the physical space of Silicon Valley in the 1980's and the location of its first start up companies, many now gone. The six Web maps are an abstraction of the invisible structure of the early 1995 Web, leading to the complexity of the Web of 2009.

Below is the earliest map we have seen to identify Silicon Valley and show the businesses there, although it is likely there may be earlier ones. Published in 1981, it shows the San Francisco Bay area from San Francisco south to Almaden Valley. The graphic method is typical for pictorial maps of the period, using a cartoon style and bright colors. It was drawn by children's book  illustrator Corbin Hillam.

This 1982 map of the valley shows many more businesses, both technology firms and others. It was published by City Graphics and drawn by Maryanne Regal Hoburg, like Corbin, a children's book author. See this video interview of Hoburg. City Graphics also published a map of the technology businesses along route 128 outside of Boston, Massachusetts.

In 1983 City Graphics published a new version of Hoburg's 1982 Silicon Valley map, updated and apparently not drawn by her. Many of the companies have moved to new locations and new companies have replaced their former sites. 

Kirby Scudder's 1986 Silicon Valley map is done in the style of Saul Steinberg's famous 1976 New Yorker Magazine cover.

The last map in the series is a 1991 calendar published by F.A.P. Fine Art Printers. Seagate is a feature name above the calendar, likely due to sponsorship of the map. The valley seems less dense with companies than the earlier maps, either due to industry consolidation or the map's focus on larger businesses or both.

The following six maps attempt to show the structure of the Internet and its form. Most but not all of the companies listed originated in Silicon Valley. The last four maps are by Information Architects, an international design firm based in Tokyo.

Below is a map published by P.C. Computing. Drawn by Timothy Downs and Neil Randall, it shows where free content was available on the Internet in 1995 and how to access it. It is an interesting data visualization of the early Internet structure. Many of these services are long gone from the Web. Timothy Downs created another web navigation map in 1996, as well as another one in 1994

P.C. Computing also published this 1996 guide to the Internet for Mac users. Many of the institutional information resources remain, but many other resources are long gone.

Skipping ahead 10 years to 2006, the Internet has changed in significant ways as shown by this map by iA Information Architects. From the 30. December 2006 iA blog: "The iA Trend Map shows all the big players, the current Internet trends and how they’re connected, using the Tokyo Metro map. It’s totally unscientific and almost useless, but definitely fun to look at." More at iA blog.

Information Architects updated their 2007 map later the same year with a version 2. From the 26. June 2007 iA blog: "We have done it before: the 200 most successful websites pinned down on the Tokyo Metro Map, ordered by category, proximity, success, popularity, and perspective. Now we have done it again—and better. Back by popular demand: here is iA’s next Web Trend Map..." More at the iA blog.

In 2008, Information Architects came up with a completely new version of their Web map. From the 11. January 2008 (and other dates) iA blog: "As you can tell, we’ve redesigned the Web Trend Map from scratch. It’s now presented as an isometric landscape. It employs the Kanto area as its metaphor with two additional layers: one showing the brand evaluation of the main sites, and another their interface. We’ve invested another two hard weeks of work into this, so you’d better madly love it. Just like Windows Vista, it may be 'the last of its kind.'" More at… and… and

In 2009 Information Architects published their last Web map, an elegant multi dimensional version. From the 02. June 2009 iA blog: "It hangs in the headquarters of Google, Microsoft, Facebook, WordPress, and Yahoo! Japan. Even the CERN in Geneva has its own copy… It has been featured all across the web from TechCrunch to BoingBoing, and Gawker. The Web Trend Map plots the Internet’s leading names and domains onto the Tokyo Metro map. Domains and personalities are carefully selected through dialog with map enthusiasts, and every domain is evaluated based on traffic, revenue, and character. We grouped together closely associated websites, ensuring that every domain is on an appropriate line. As a result, the map produces a web of associations: some provocative, some curious, others ironically accurate." More at iA blog.

Coordinates Maps and Art Exhibit Opens at Stanford's David Rumsey Map Center

The David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford Libraries for the first time has borrowed art from artists and institutions around the country, pairing their pieces with cartographic material from its collection for Coordinates: Maps and Art Exploring Shared Terrain. The exhibition features a variety of ways in which the two mediums overlap in inquiries about space, both geographical and metaphorical. The exhibition opened on Thursday April 25, 2019 with a daylong symposium and reception. The exhibit has an extensive catalog documenting the maps and art works. Printed copies are available for free at the Rumsey Map Center. Digital PDF versions can be downloaded here: Standard Resolution (18MB) or High Resolution (200MB). A exhibition checklist is also available.

  (Left) Trevor Paglen, STSS-1 and Two Unidentified Spacecraft over Carson City (Space Tracking and Surveillance System; USA 205), from series The Other Night Sky, 2010.
(Right) United States. Office of Manned Flight, Apollo manned lunar landing : GOSS mission profile, 1969.
Two sides of the machines launched into space to gather data. Paglen captures mere traces of the satellites the government wishes to conceal; the Apollo Mission profile is dense with information and intended for public consumption of the historic moon landing.

“The crux of this exhibition is to provide visitors with an opportunity to ponder new questions and ideas about both the map and the art pieces and to liberate pre-conceived notions about what either is or is not,” said G. Salim Mohammed, head and curator of the David Rumsey Map Center.

(Left) Baron F.W. von Egloffstein, Geological map and profiles of some of the principal mining districts of Mexico, 1864.
(Right) Tauba Auerbach, Untitled (Fold), 2010.
Depictions of topography attempt to create an illusion of multidimensionality on a picture plane. Here, von Egloffstein and Auerbach show how the eye is seduced into seeing three dimensions, both real and imagined, through the subtleties of shading.

The exhibition was conceived and curated by David Rumsey, founder and namesake of the map center at Stanford and Emily Prince, cartographic metadata librarian at Stanford. Rumsey, who received a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University, always envisioned the David Rumsey Map Center as an interdisciplinary ‘geolab’ where maps offer scholars, from any discipline, a new lens for investigation and inquiry. Since its opening in 2016, the Rumsey Map Center has welcomed several classes spanning disciplines in art, civil engineering, classics, earth sciences, among many others.

In a written introduction for the exhibit catalog Rumsey and Prince describe their desire for combining the two formats, “Art holds our attention in looking and makes us conscious of our focus. Maps pull us deep into a three-dimensional space that is laid before us in two dimensions. Both force us to observe ourselves in the act of seeing—examining not only what we see, but how and why. Viewed together, they take us by surprise.”

Coordinates is curated in a way that brings together two seemingly different objects, but when collocated the efforts of the mapmaker and artist to convey location, perspective and imagination begin to look more similar than different. As Rumsey and Prince note in their essay, “Both rely on visual symbols and their codes of association to convey meaning. Both play with scale. Neither represent terrain literally, stripped of all symbology, or in a one-to-one scale. A map is not so much a visualized topography as an interpretive guide to it; just as an artwork is not an illustration but an investigation of how to look with an eye that widens from the concrete to envision an abstract concept. As an aesthetic gesture, a map is inherently an art: tracing, interlacing, erasing. As a document of interpretation, art becomes a map of meaning.”

(Left) Sol LeWitt, A Circle of Manhattan without a Circle, 1976–78.
(Right) Zero per Zero, New York City Railway system, 2014.
How can you see all the networks that traverse Manhattan, above and below ground? LeWitt and Zero per Zero use transparency, shape, and negative space to convey this information in clearly manipulated views, transcending street geography.

Rumsey and Prince partnered with curator and writer Jordan Stein to produce a catalog for the exhibition. Stein explains his role in the development of the catalog was more akin to a correspondent, “tracing the contours of Rumsey and Prince’s work and conveying it in writing.”

“…My aim is somewhat similar to theirs: to unsettle the ground between the perceived objectivity of maps and subjectivity of art; to loosen—even if slightly—our grip on knowing; and to take a closer look at what terra incognita might mean in the context of their efforts,” wrote Stein in the catalog.

Coordinates: Maps and Art Exploring Shared Terrain will be on display from April 25 thru September 31, 2019 in the David Rumsey Map Center at the Cecil H. Green Library on the Stanford campus.

Among the artists included in the exhibition are Zoe Leonard, Trevor Paglen, Tauba Auerbach, On Kawara, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Agnes Denes, John Pfahl, Ed Ruscha, Robert Smithson, Nancy Holt, Christo and Jeanne-Claude. In dialogue with the art, will be maps by pioneering cartographers, such as J. C. Fremont, R. Buckminster Fuller, Richard Saul Wurman, Zero per Zero, Charles Joseph Minard, Joseph Salway, F. W. von Egloffstein, J. A. Martignoni, Isaac Frost, Sir David Brewster, and Stanford’s own Dr. Rob Dunbar.

In one instance, the art is meant to be taken. A stack piece known as Untitled 1992/1993 by Felix Gonzalez-Torres (pictured below on the right), will be placed one on top of another in a stack, welcoming interaction with the art and inviting visitors to take a piece and reinterpret the piece in their own environments. "We are honored to collaborate with both The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation and SFMOMA in order to bring this work into the library. This partnership is a beautiful example of our ethos as librarians - sharing," said Prince.

The opening day symposium included talks by SFMOMA Librarian David Senior; Director of the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation Emilie Keldie; writer Abby Smith Rumsey; art historian Emanuele Lugli; Director of the Holt-Smithson Foundation Lisa Le Feuvre; geographer Joshua Jelly-Schapiro from the New York University Institute for Public Knowledge; Jordan Stein from KADIST, San Francisco; and mapmaker David Medeiros.

(Left) Charles Joseph Minard, Carte figurative…1858 les émigrants du globe, 1858.
(Right) Felix Gonzalez-Torres, “Untitled”, 1992/1993.
Minard, the founding genius of data visualization, subordinates everything, even the shape of the continents, to the flow lines that indicate movement of people. Gonzalez-Torres, here also in the realm of dispersal, defies the pieties of art—uniqueness and scarcity—by letting people take his images away with them, re-enacting the act of letting go.

The exhibit has an extensive catalog documenting the maps and art works. Printed copies are available for free at the Rumsey Map Center. Digital PDF versions can be downloaded here: Standard Resolution (18MB) or High Resolution (200MB). A exhibition checklist is also available.

Front and Back Cover of  Coordinates Exhibition Catalog
(Background) Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972–76.
(Foregraound) International Boundary Commission, Linea Divisoria Entre Mexico y Los Estados Unidos, 1901.
Boundaries come in all shapes and sizes—soft and undulating, hard and contemptuous of natural barriers. These images ask us to question what they are and who delineates them, how permanent they can ever be, and where, if anywhere, remains without borders?

The David Rumsey Map Center is open to the public from 1:00p.m. to 5:00p.m. Monday thru Friday; entrance is free but requires registration. When planning your trip to the Rumsey Map Center, please check as there are occasions when the Center is closed due to class use.

1940 WPA San Francisco Model 42x38 ft Now Online

For the first time since 1942, the entire immense 42 by 38 foot WPA built San Francisco Model can be seen assembled virtually. Digitally knitting together all 158 separate pieces with over 6,000 blocks gives the viewer a sense of the extraordinary accomplishment the model represents. Recently recovered after decades of dusty storage, the model has been cleaned and photographed by a dedicated team of individuals as part of the SFMOMA and San Francisco Public Library project called Public Knowledge: Take Part. The model pieces were expertly photographed by Beth LaBerge. David Rumsey created the large Composite image below of the 158 pieces, as well as the image and metadata database of all the images, which he hosts. Rumsey also georeferenced the large Composite image and placed it in Google Earth.

Some details of the model's history: it is a 42 by 38 foot wooden replica of the city of San Francisco as it was in 1940 in 158 pieces at a scale of 1 inch to 100 feet. The pieces contain about 6,000 removable city blocks. The model was built by The Works Progress Administration in the late 1930's, under the New Deal. It was first displayed in sections in the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay in 1939. In 1940-1942 it was displayed in San Francisco City Hall. The model was used as an urban planning tool by San Francisco city agencies and departments through the 1960's. In 1968, the downtown portion of the model became a research and planning tool in the Environmental Simulation Laboratory in the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. The model has not been on public view, in its entirety, since 1942. UC Berkeley is the current owner of the model. The intent of the makers of the model was to have it updated as the city changed over time and they conceived of it as a tool to help understand and plan for changes in the city's built environment. Read a San Francisco Planning Department document from 1940 describing the building and purposes of the model.

The condition of the model is generally good except for the downtown and south of market portions which need restoration - many blocks there have been removed and lost, probably from the time it was used and updated as a planning tool. The team that has made the model available again to the public are the principals of  Public Knowledge: Take Part: Bik Van der Pol, Artists; Stella Lochman Project Manager; Tomoko Kanamitsu, Project Director; Deena Chalabi,  Curatorial Lead; and Bay Area historian Gray Brechin, who for many years has championed the Model's preservation as a critical piece of Bay Area history during the New Deal. 

The large Composite image was georeferenced and placed in Google Earth. Viewing the Model in this platform allows several new functions: it may been seen obliquely or at an angle, as it is by viewers seeing the physical model; a digital elevation database in Google Earth gives the Model image height and depth; and changes over time can be seen by comparing the Model 1940 image to the modern satellite image using the transparency slider.  The Google Earth App can be downloaded - choose Google Earth Pro for Desktop. The Google Earth KMZ of the Model will download here and open in Google Earth App by clicking on it after download.

The WPA San Francisco Model was an attempt both to look back and ahead at the City's environment in 1940. While it is an antiquarian object today, it holds its power to inspire us by its creativity and craftsmanship. We hope that it finds a permanent home and is restored - it is a crucial link to the history of San Francisco.

Historical images of WPA model courtesy of the San Francisco Department of City Planning Records (SFH 465), San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

HD Maps for Self Driving Cars - Podcast with David Rumsey and Wei Luo

 The need for ultra high definition maps for self driving cars is creating a new kind of map - the High Definition or HD map - with resolution down to a few centimeters. This is a new version of the one to one map anticipated by Jorge Luis Borges in his 1946 short story "On Exactitude in Science." Listen to a podcast with David Rumsey and Wei Luo, COO of DeepMap, as they explore how HD maps will change our ideas of what a map is and can be, as well as how past maps have anticipated these coming changes in cartography. By making a map of our world that is literally 1:1 scale, HD maps explode the map to encompass everything around us - and we will experience it by moving in it and through it in our self driving cars. 

Below is a DeepMap's conceptual visualization of how HD maps could work with self driving cars:

A Visualization of how HD maps could work with self driving cars - provided by DeepMap

Over 2,000 Pictorial Maps in Online Collection

Over 2,000 Pictorial maps and related images have been added to the David Rumsey Map Collection in the form of separate maps, pocket maps, case maps, atlases, manuscript maps, and wall maps. Pictorial maps are generally described as maps that employ various kinds of illustrations, images, and text that enhance the cartographic message. While they seem to have peaked in popularity in the 1920 to 1940 period, they have antecedents in the 19th and earlier centuries and the form continues today. We will be continuing to add more pictorial maps to the collection, and this link will automatically update with the new maps. We are broad in our definition of pictorial maps, and include in that category certain panoramic and birds-eye maps, diagrammatic maps, and timelines. Some of the more prolific or exceptional pictorial map makers are detailed below. Highlights in this addition are pictorial maps by MacDonald Gill, Ernest Dudley Chase, Ashburton Tripp, Jo Mora, Ruth Taylor White, Lucien Boucher, Gerald Eddy, Miguel Covarrubias, Heinrich Berann, Ernest Clegg, Karl Smith, Edwin Olsen, Stanley Turner, Coulton Waugh, Everett Henry, Lindgren Brothers, Don Bloodgood, Colortext Corp, Frank Dorn, C.V. Farrow, Richard Edes HarrisonAlva Scott GarfieldElizabeth Shurtleff, Tony Sarg, Louise Jefferson, Harrison Godwin, and Courtland Smith. A group of original pictorial map catalogs is also included. For more information on pictorial maps, see writings of Elisabeth Burdon, George Glazer, Roderick Barron, Wikipedia, and Library of Congress.

View Pictorial Maps Sorted by Date
View Pictorial Maps Sorted by Author   
View All Pictorial Maps in the Collection, Including New Additions

Pictorial Maps by MacDonald Gill, 1915 to 1947
Gill, Leslie MacDonald, Various Places
MacDonald Gill was an important British artist who created many kinds of illustrations, as well as maps. His 1915 London Underground map is considered one of the most important 20th century pictorial maps which established a distinctive pictorial style. His schematic pocket maps for the London underground are also important as precursors of Harry Beck's fully developed diagrammatic London underground maps starting in 1933. View Maps

Pictorial Maps by B. Ashburton Tripp, 1925 to 1954
Tripp, B. Ashburton, Cleveland, Ohio, and Alexandria, Virginia
Ashburton Tripp, 1887-1955, was a landscape architect who also made and self published pictorial maps of Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. He drew but never published a map of Panama. In addition, he drew several maps of his landscape commissions, as well as other maps for clients. While his output was relatively small, the quality of his work is extraordinary. We were able to acquire a large group of his manuscript and published maps from his family.  View Maps

Jo Mora Pictorial Maps, 1926 to 2007
Mora, Jo, Various Places
Jo Mora, 1876 - 1947, was a successful artist who created a large group of pictorial maps of varying places and subjects. Mora's work is outstanding for its artistic values and humor. For more information on his life and work, see the Jo Mora Trust.

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Pictorial Maps by Ernest Dudley Chase, 1931 to 1965
Chase, Ernest Dudley, Various Places
Ernest Dudley Chase produced a large group of pictorial maps over a thirty year period. Included are maps of the world, countries, cities, towns, thematic maps, and stamp maps. His meticulous drawing style of the pictorial elements is impressive. Chase also produced a large number of greeting cards, one of which is included here, along with a catalog of his maps issued by him in 1940.
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Picture Map Geography of the United States, 1931 (with) Picture Map Geography of South America, 1941
Johst, Paul Spener; Quinn, Vernon, New York
Two atlases with pictorial maps by Paul Spener Johst. The United States atlas has state-by-state geography with a blue and black colored, full-page map for each. Maps show crops, products, activities, landmarks, modes of transportation, etc. Includes Alaska and Hawaii. The South America atlas has maps of each country. Vernon Quinn wrote the text for both books.

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Atlas and Maps by Ruth Taylor White, 1929 - 1941
White, Ruth Taylor, Various Places
Ruth Taylor White produced the atlas "Our U.S.A. A Gay Geography" in 1935, an entertaining fanciful pictorial or cartoon atlas of the United States which includes a full color map and a page of historical and geographical text on each of the 48 states plus the Territories of Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Philippines, plus a map of the Caribbean showing Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Panama Canal Zone as well as the rest of the Antilles. Numerous small drawings on the map of each state depict sights, people, activities, crops, animals, relief, populated places,etc. A product of the 1930s, it depicts stereotypical images of people, such as on the Tennessee map there is a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) member in white hood and robe with a pistol and a bucket of tar, and a black person dragging a sack of cotton. In addition to these sometimes offensive images, the maps also reflect the times in terms of what was important or noteworthy about each area of each state, be it growing corn, raising mules, crabbing, racing horses, making movies, sailing, Native Americans, national parks, quilting, romance, volcanoes, whales, rain, gold, or big trees. Ruth Taylor White was educated at the Pratt Institute of Art and the Art Students League.  View Maps

Berta and Elmer Hader's Picture Book of the States, 1932
Hader, Berta Hoerner; Hader, Elmer Stanley, New York
Responsible for illustrating and writing dozens of children's books, Berta and Elmer Hader also did book covers for John Steinbeck and worked for several prominent magazines in addition to creating this delightful book of pictorial maps.

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Pictorial Maps by Lucien Boucher, 1934 to 1962
Boucher, Lucien, Paris
Lucien Boucher made a large group of maps for Air France which show the growth of the air routes over three decades, as well as maps for other sponsors including his outstanding map for the Red Cross in 1962. His distinctive style and artistic values are noteworthy.

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Gerald A. Eddy Pictorial Maps, 1933 to 1965
Eddy, Gerald A., Various Places
Gerald Eddy produced a wide variety of pictorial maps, largely of western U.S. areas, including Death Valley, Lake Tahoe, Boulder Dam, and Los Angeles.

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Pictorial Maps by Miguel Covarrubias, 1940 to 1942
Covarrubias, Miguel, Various Places
Covarrubias produced pictorial maps in a painterly style. His Pagent of the Pacific series of six maps is especially noteworthy - they are six mural-maps that he painted for Pacific House, the theme building of the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco in 1939. José Miguel Covarrubias Duclaud (his full name) was a Mexican painter and caricaturist, theater set designer, ethnologist and art historian very well known in the United States as well as in Mexico. He also made the manuscript Tree of Modern Art visualization with Ashburton Tripp.     View Maps

Pictorial Maps by Heinrich Berann, 1936 to 1995
Berann, Heinrich, Various Places
Heinrich Berann was prolific in the production of panoramic, birds-eye mountain views of locations in Europe and the United States, as well as sea floor drawings for National Geographic. 

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Ernest Clegg Pictorial Maps, 1926 to 1947
Clegg, Ernest, Various Places
Ernest Clegg made pictorial maps in a distinctive style that used many elements of Renaissance cartography - in the typography, the compass roses, the borders, and the decorative cartouches. 

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Pictorial map of Manhattan by C.V. Farrow, 1926
Farrow, Charles Vernon, New York
Farrow's map of Manhattan is full of interesting details well rendered, all of which contribute to an outstanding design and makes this map one of the best pictorial maps of the 1920's in the United States. This appears to be the only major map that Farrow designed. He died young, at age 40. The title cartouche is covered by the printed label (as issued) which also appears on the map envelope (not present with this copy).
View Map

Pictorial Maps by Karl Smith, 1933 to 1959
Smith, Karl, Various Places
Karl Smith's maps are noteworthy for his incorporation of historical themes and strong graphic designs and vignettes. In addition to maps of the states, he made historical maps of the lives of Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis.

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Edwin Olsen and Blake Clark Pictorial Maps, 1926
Olsen, Edwin; Clark, Blake, Boston
Olsen and Clark made a series of city maps that showed the influence of MacDonald Gill, while still maintaining their own unique style. Represented here are Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

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Pictorial Maps by Stanley Turner and C.C. Petersen, 1942 to 1969
Turner, Stanley; Petersen, C.C., Toronto
Stanley Turner and C.C. Petersen produced a large number of "Dated Events" war maps during World War II. They employ a wide variety of projections and pictorial styles, allowing their readers to follow the important events of the war on the maps.

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Pictorial Maps by Harrison Godwin, 1927 and 1928
Godwin, Harrison, Los Angeles and San Francisco
Godwin's maps are profusely illustrated with characters depicting history, humor,  and social commentary. His style is similar to Jo Mora but differs from Mora in the overall map designs.

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Pictorial Maps by Everett Henry, 1928 to 1981
Henry, Everett, Various Places

Everett Henry designed maps with literary themes: Moby Dick, Huckleberry Finn, Ivanhoe, Tale of Two Cities, Robin Hood, Treasure Island, and others.

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Famous flights and air routes of the world. Complement of H.J. Heinz Company 57, 1937
H.J. Heinz, Pittsburgh
Shows list of 25 famous flights, starting with Charles Lindbergh, shown top center. It also includes vignettes of 25 different planes and pilots from the early 1900's to 1930's. Includes routes of all the major airlines of the time - Northwest, American, United, Western Air, Eastern, Pan American, Pennsylvania, Air France, KLM, Imperial, Japan Air, Civil Air Trust, China National and Canadian Airways. Includes title carthouches, decorative compass rose and key to symbols. Relief shown by shadings.

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Pictorial Maps by Coulton Waugh, 1922 to 1930
Waugh, Coulton, Various Places
Coulton Waugh made several maps of Cape Cod, as well as maps of Long Island and Greenwich Village in New York City - all in a very distinctive style using elaborate borders and illustrations.

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Pictorial Maps by Lindgren Brothers, 1936 to 1948
Lindgren Brothers, Various Places
The Lindgren Brothers produced a large number of whimsical maps that stretch the boundaries of pictorial mapping and are definitely an acquired taste, and once acquired, they become fascinating.

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Pictorial Maps by Don Bloodgood, 1935 to 1968
Bloodgood, Don, Various Places
Don Bloodgood made a large variety of pictorial maps - of cities, parks, islands, and states. His pictorial style is dense with illustrations and humor. His work covers over 30 years, beginning in 1935 with his map of San Diego for the California Pacific International Exposition.

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L'Epanouissement du Monde. (The Fulfillment of the World.) 1948
Pinchon, J.P.; Perpillou, A., Paris
Pinchon was a noted French illustrator and comics pioneer. This book is his pictorial atlas of the provinces of France, with 48 geographical and pictorial maps in color, with Pinchon's signature on on each sheet. Each geographical map is accompanied by another pictorial map with vignettes depicting major attractions, trades, or historical events associated with a particular town, city, or region. The vignettes and the more notable features of each province are also described in descriptive text.

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Pictorial Maps by George Annand, 1934 to 1951
Annand, George, Various Places
George Annand produced a variety of pictorial maps for the Boston Herald newspaper as well as General Foods, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and the 1939 New York World's Fair.

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Pictorial Maps by Louise Jefferson, 1944 and 1945
Jefferson, Louise E., New York
Louise E. Jefferson, the daughter of a calligrapher for the United States Treasury Department, was encouraged to draw from a young age. Her father taught her his craft at home and she later studied fine and commercial art in private lessons and at Howard University. She moved to New York to continue her education at the School of Fine Arts at Hunter College. In Harlem, Jefferson came in contact with other African-American artists and in 1935 she was a founding member of the Harlem Artists Guild, a program sponsored by the Works Progress Administration. A freelance job with the National Council of Churches’ publishing operation, Friendship Press, led to a full-time position. Jefferson eventually became the press’s art director. Jefferson was perhaps the first African-American woman to hold such a position in the publishing industry. Jefferson freelanced for major publishing houses, such as Viking and Doubleday, throughout her career. She was known as a designer of both skill and artistry.   View Maps

Urban Pictorial Maps by Hermann Bollmann, 1952 to 2014
Bollmann, Hermann, Various Places
Hermann Bollmann (1911-1971) was a German cartographer who brought his training as a graphic artist to bear on the German tradition of Vogelschaukarten (bird's-eye-view maps). He drew maps of many German cities, and published them at intervals to show their reconstruction after World War II. He also drew maps of foreign cities. For his map of New York City, Bollman's staff designed and built special cameras and took over 67,000 photographs of the city, 17,000 of which were from the air. The actual drawing was done by hand and is very accurate although streets are wider and some features are exaggerated for clarity.   View Maps

Isometric Maps by Tadashi Ishihara, 1982 - 2002
Ishihara, Tadashi, Osaka
Tadashi Ishihara has made several well crafted isometric or birds-eye view maps of American and Japanese cities. Working from photographs, he achieves extraordinarily detailed 3D images of urban and non urban areas. His work is in the same genre as that of Hermann Bollmann and Constantine Anderson (see our copies of their maps). View Maps

Maps of Manhattan, New York City, 1960 to 1985
Anderson, Constantine, New York
Constantine Anderson made detailed isometric maps of Manhattan Island in New York City for over 25 years, from 1960 to 1985. Primarily he focused on mid town Manhattan. He drew in the style of Herman Bollmann and was likely influenced by Bollmann's Manhattan map, although it is difficult to know which one drew their map first. Anderson sold portions of his map to real estate developers and agents to use for marketing purposes.

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Colortext Pictorial Maps, 1935 to 1938
Colortext Publications, Various Places
Colortext Publications created a variety of maps of countries as well as a noted map of Chicago, all in the 1930's. The country maps were in a "Story Map" format, showing important historical events. For more on Colortext, see Craig Clinton's excellent essay.

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A Map and History of Peiping (Beijing). Explanatory Booklet. By Frank Dorn, Peiping. Lithographed and Published by The Peiyang Press, Ltd. Tientsin-Peiping. 1936
Dorn, Frank, Tientsin-Peiping
Col. Frank Dorn (1901-1981), later brigadier general, was an artist, writer and aide to Gen. Joseph Stilwell, the man who during World War II commanded the U.S. and Chinese Nationalist resistance to Japanese incursions into China and Burma. Dorn's map of Peiping is a classic of the pictorial mapping period. Dorn's cartographic style shows the influence of his friend Jo Mora.

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Pictorial Maps by Alva Scott Garfield, 1959 to 1960
Garfield, Alva Scott, Madison, New Hampshire
Alva Scott Garfield made pictorial maps in the 1950's and 60's, including maps of New England towns and Harvard University. Historical themes are featured.

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Pictorial Maps by General Drafting, 1932 to 1962
General Drafting Company, Various Places
General Drafting was an active publisher of road maps, primarily for Standard Oil (Esso) and thrived in the period (1930's to 1950's) when these maps were given free to gas station customers. Pictorial mapping themes were incorporated into many of their maps.

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Pictorial Maps by Richard Edes Harrison, 1937 to 1947
Harrison, Richard Edes, Various Places
Richard Edes Harrison produced a unique style map view of the world for the "air age." These maps are precursors of our ubiquitous satellite maps of today, yet hand drawn with great cartographic skill. His work was published frequently by Fortune Magazine.

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Disneyland Pictorial Maps by Sam McKim and others, 1958 to 2005
McKim, Sam;Other Authors, Various Places
These 14 maps of Disneyland show the evolution of mapping the theme park from 1958 to 2005. Many of the early maps were created by Sam McKim and are signed by him.

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Paul M. Paine Pictorial Maps, 1926 to 1939
Paine, Paul M., Various Places
Paul M. Paine was a librarian who created several maps showing the history of authors and their books, as well as maps with historical themes. In his Booklover's Map of America he highlights the locations of many principal works of American literature. Novels that take place over multiple locations, such as Grapes of Wrath are indicated with a dotted line that maps the itinerary of the story. It also includes the birthplaces and homes of several important writers. Insets around the outside of the map give more information about certain cities with particular literary significance.   View Maps

Pictorial Maps by Rand McNally, 1931 to 1962
Rand McNally & Company, Chicago
Pictorial road maps, timelines, map catalogs, airline maps, war maps, and others were among the many different types of pictorial maps published by Rand McNally over a 30 year period, both with other cartographers as well as their own creations.

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Pictorial Maps by Tony Sarg, 1933 to 1939
Sarg, Tony, Various Places
Known as an illustrator and puppeteer (he is considered by some to be the father of modern puppetry in North America), Tony Sarg created several important pictorial maps of towns, world fairs, and regions.

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Elizabeth Shurtleff Pictorial Maps, 1926 to 1930
Shurtleff, Elizabeth, Various Places
Shurtleff created a group of pictorial maps in a very distinct style. Heavily illustrated maps and borders typically highlighted the history of the map location with colorful illustrations of places, people and events from colonial days, both on the map and in the decorative border.

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Downtown District of Manhattan, 1938
Zaidenberg, Arthur, New York
Arthur Zaidenberg, 1908 - 1990, was a noted artist who probably created this view of New York for the 1939 World's Fair. Zaidenberg was best known for his book, "Anyone Can Draw," and he published dozens of other "how to draw" books. He taught art at New York University, and created many murals for hotels. This pictorial map is his only know map production, and it is exceptional.

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Pictorial Maps by Courtland Smith, 1933 to 1961
Smith, Courtland, New York
Courtland Smith made a distinctive map of Long Island in 1933 which was republished in 1961. It is one of the most ubiquitous pictorial maps so we assume it was printed in large quantities.

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Italia Viva del Prof. G. De Agostini ... Atlante Artistico In XXI Quadri a Colori, 1938
De Agostini, Giovani; Nicouline, Vsevolod Petrovic, Milano
This is a travel guide with many colorful pictorial maps. (See also our larger version of these maps, Imago Italiae). Vsevolod Petrovic Nicouline was a renowned Russian painter, print-maker, ceramicist, designer and illustrator born in the Ukraine in 1890. For a time he was with the Imperial Academy of Petersburg. His teaching career there was interrupted by the Bolshevik revolution. He was forced to flee and, after a daring journey, arrived in Constantinople accompanied by the Countess Bossalinie Aida who later became his wife. They survived in this city with menial jobs, and were finally able to join relatives in Genoa in 1920 where he held his first exhibition. In 1922 he moved to Nervi, opening a studio at the first Polish residence, meeting other Russian and Polish exiles. His years were rich in relationships, artists, and writers for whom he designed several books and arranged illustrations, commissions of portraits and more. In 1941 he was inaugurated into the Teatro Carlo Felice and designed sets for La Scala and the Metropolitan New York. He was an important illustrator of more than 100 children's books.

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Pictorial Maps by Jaro Hess, 1930 and 1953
Hess, Jaro, Various Places
Colorful and wonderfully detailed and imaginative pictorial map. Depicting more than fifty classic fairy tale characters and places that inhabit the same world, each artfully drawn and labeled. Jaro Hess was perhaps the most original artist of fantasy maps working in the United States from the 1930s through the 1960’s.

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Pictorial Maps by the Mentholatum Company, 1936 to 1939
The Mentholatum Company; Aitchison, Robert T., Various Places
Mentholatum produced a group of U.S. state maps that showed historical events on the maps and added descriptive text to further describe important events. The company used these maps as promotions for its products. Robert T. Aitchison drew the maps.

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Wonder Map of Melbourne, 1934
John Power Studios, Melbourne
Celebrates the Centenary Year of Melbourne, Australia - 1934. Densely illustrated birdseye view of Melbourne in bright colors. Many quips with cute illustrations. Border of eucalyptus leaves and pods.

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Pictorial Maps by Alfred Taylor, 1930 to 1933
Taylor, Alfred, Various Places
Taylor's maps of Great Britain were published separately and in book form as Pictorial Britain. All the maps seem to have been sponsored in some manner by the Anglo American Oil Company, either through its Pratt's or Esso brands.

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Pictorial Maps by Albert Richard Co., 1938 to 1940
Albert Richard Co., Cheeseman, E.E., Milwaukee, WI.
The Albert Richard sportswear apparel company sponsored a series of football maps by E.E. Cheeseman that remain a valuable historical look at the state of the sport in the late 1930's. They also made a map titled Patriotic Panorama of the United States during World War II.

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Les provinces de France Illustrees et leurs divisions departmentales. Illustrations de J.P. Pinchon. Ed. Blondel la Rougery. Editeur, 7 Rue St. Lazare, Paris. Deuxieme edition. 1929
Pinchon, Joseph-Porphyre, Paris
2nd. edition, pictorial atlas of the provinces of France, with 48 geographical and pictorial maps in color in 48 pages, with Pinchon signature on on each sheet. Each geographical map is accompanied by another pictorial map with vignettes depicting major attractions, trades, or historical events associated with a particular town, city, or region. The vignettes and the more notable features of each province are also described in descriptive text.   View Atlas

Pictorial Maps by Robert Waldmire, 1981 - 2001
Waldmire, Robert, Rochester (Illinois)
Robert Waldmire created dense, unique maps in his own hand drawn style. Each map includes very detailed texts and vignettes about mining, wildlife, labor controversies, sports, businesses, landmarks, history, and more.

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Pictorial Map Catalogs and Articles, 1925 - 1977
Various Authors, Various Places
A group of original pictorial map catalogs and articles that are very useful in understanding the publishing history of pictorial maps in the period of 1920 to 1960. These catalogs give an excellent context for the sale and creation of pictorial maps during the period of their great popularity. Most of these items are from the Collection of James Utley MD and were lent to us for scanning.

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Mapping the Heavens in 1693

Ignace Gaston Pardies created a series of six beautiful star and constellation maps in the late 17th century. All six map plates join together to make a unified view of the Heavens as seen from the Earth. Pardies, a French Jesuit and professor of mathematics in Paris, corresponded with leading scientists of his day, including Newton, Leibniz and Huygens. His background in classical literature and science is evident in the complex artistry and mathematical precision of the six star maps. Pardies' use of a geocentric cartographic view of the stars was unusual for the time - most star charts and celestial globes used the God's eye perspective - looking at the entire universe from outside it. Our Cassini 1792 Celestial Globe is an example of the God's eye view - an earth-bound user had to imagine seeing the drawn constellations in the actual sky in reverse. With Pardies' maps we see the sky as it appears from earth. Pardies drew the maps on the gnomonic projection which visualized the universe as a six-sided cube instead of a globe. This method allows for accurate measurement by straight lines between any point on the map. He also showed the paths of many important comets from 1577 to 1682 moving through the constellations.  In order to assist users in visualizing various aspects of these star maps, we have georeferenced the maps in GIS and then joined them together, first as a cube, then as a globe, then in other projections, and in Google Earth, and those visualizations are shown below.

Pardies' stunning artistry can be seen in the second of the six plates, with the constellations Cetus, Aquarius, Andromeda, Pegasus and Aries:

Here is the full image of Plate 2 with Latin text on the left side and French text on the right side:

A detail of Plate 2 shows the head of Cetus and the tracks of two comets:

When Pardies' plates where published separately as an atlas, it was titled in Latin "Globi coelestis in tabulas planas redacti descriptio auctore R.P. Ignatio Gastone Pardies Societatis Jesu mathematico opus postumum." Below are all six plates, showing the explanatory text and tables on the sides of the star maps in Latin and French. First the two polar or "top and bottom" plates:

Plate 1 (North Pole)

Plate 6 (South Pole)

Then the four middle latitude or "side" plates in the order they are joined:

Plate 2 (Vernal Equinox)

Plate 5 (Winter Solstice)

Plate 4 (Autumnal Equinox)

Plate 3 (Summer Solstice)

The Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering and Technology in Kansas City, Missouri, has a notable collection of Pardies' atlases and plates and commented on his work in one of their exhibition catalogs: "Pardies' star atlas is stylistically one of the most attractive ever published. Pardies took his constellation figures primarily from Bayer's Uranometria, but since each chart covers a large section of the sky, these figures had to be carefully integrated, which was not an easy task. Pardies' engraver accomplished this task with great success.... The plate [which] shows Hercules, Ophiuchus, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Aquila, and one of the most stunning compositions in the history of celestial cartography." Below is that Plate 5:

The six Pardies plates can be trimmed and laid out as the six sides of a cube:

When the six sides are joined as a cube, they look like this (Plates 1, 2, and 5 visible):

Rotating the cube (Plates 1, 4, and 3 visible):

Instead of visualizing the map plates as a cube, we can still keep the gnomonic projection but show it differently in GIS, here centered on Plate 5, but showing the parts of the four plates that adjoin Plate 5 (the gnomonic projection in GIS limits our view to about 130 degrees to avoid extreme distortion at the edges):

All six plates in the same gnomonic projection in GIS:

Plate 1 (North Pole)

Plate 2 (Vernal Equinox)

Plate 3 (Summer Solstice)

Plate 4 (Autumnal Equinox)

Plate 5 (Winter Solstice)

Plate 6 (South Pole)

In GIS, the same plates can be reprojected in orthographic projection, which allows us to see a full 180 degrees around each plate. Below is polar Plate 1 and its four adjoining plates in orthographic projection:

All six plates in the orthographic projection in GIS:

Plate 1 (North Pole)

Plate 2 (Vernal Equinox)

Plate 3 (Summer Solstice)

Plate 4 (Autumnal Equinox)

Plate 5 (Winter Solstice)

Plate 6 (South Pole)

For a novel projection, we can use the Berghaus star projection, here centered on the North Pole. This projection allows us to see five full plates (Plates 1-5) in one projected map:

And here centered on the South Pole (Plates 2-6):

We have used the geographic projection in order to put the plates in Google Earth. This projection distorts the northern and southern parts of the sky but allows us to see the entire group of six plates in one map:

When the geographic projection map of the six plates is placed in Google Earth, it loses any distortions and gives us a complete joined view of Pardies map of the Heavens. View singly in Google Earth Application (requires download of app) or with all the Rumsey georeferenced maps in the  Google Earth application (New Maps section, Celestial Globe 1693, turn off Atmosphere in View).

We can turn the Google Earth globe view inside out and float it 64 million meters outside the earth so that the Pardies star maps appear as we would see them in the sky.  We use a mirror image of the geographic projection so that all the positions and labels of the stars and constellations are correct (rotate the earth in order to move through the sky). View singly in Google Earth Application below (requires download of app) or  with all the Rumsey georeferenced maps in the Google Earth application (New Maps section, Celestial Sphere 1693, turn off Atmosphere in View).

Below is a short video of moving through the six joined Pardies plates as a globe in Google Earth:

And another video of moving through the six joined Pardies plates 64 million meters outside of the earth, much as they would be seen in the sky by earth-bound viewers:

Unfortunately, Pardies did not live to see his amazing star maps published - he died in 1673 and the first edition of his atlas of six plates was published posthumously in 1674. A second edition was published in 1693 (our copy shown here), and a third edition in 1700. But the usefulness of his work continued long after his death and his star maps took on a life of their own. Deborah Warner ("The Sky Explored") states: "The published reports of their observations indicate that Jesuit astronomers throughout the world relied heavily on Pardies' maps for obtaining coordinates of both old stars and newly discovered ones. Furthermore, while using the maps they improved them by adding new stars and correcting the positions of old ones; many of these revisions were incorporated into the second edition. Pardies' maps served as a model for the gnomonic maps of Jonas Moore, Doppelmeyer, Kordenbusch, and, in the nineteenth century, the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, and for Grimaldi's maps of the Chinese constellations."

We can appreciate and admire Pardies genius today, over 300 years later, because a few copies of his work still survive. Putting images of them online now allows many more people to enjoy his unique mapping of the Heavens long ago.

Atlas for The Blind 1837

The Atlas of the United States Printed for the Use of the Blind was published in 1837 for children at the New England Institute for the Education of the Blind in Boston. Without a drop of ink in the book, the text and maps in this extraordinary atlas were embossed heavy paper with letters, lines, and symbols. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first atlas produced for the blind to read without the assistance of a sighted person. Braille was invented by 1825, but was not widely used until later. It represented letters well, but could not represent shapes and cartographic features. Samuel Gridley Howe (1801-1876) was the founder and president of the New England Institute (later known as the Perkins Institute) and produced the atlas with the assistance of John C. Cray and Samuel P. Ruggles. Howe was the husband of Julia Ward Howe, the American abolitionist and author of the U.S. Civil War song "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." He was a champion of people with disabilities and believed that blind youth could be taught geography through  maps created with his special paper embossing process. In his introduction to the atlas Howe notes that crude attempts had been made to create maps for the blind, but they used primitive methods of creating relief and required the assistance of a sighted person. He claimed that his new embossing method was superior in all respects. Today, it is difficult to know how successful the atlas was, although there can be little doubt that these maps helped Howe's blind students visualize geography. We do know that 50 copies were made and five survive today, including this one. The atlas includes 24 state maps with a page of text describing each state and the symbols used on the maps. In our scans, we have lit the maps and text pages  from one side to create shadows that reveal the embossing.

Below is the first map in the atlas, of Maine, with dotted lines showing the border with Canada and New Hampshire. Numbers and letters indicate towns, rivers and lakes, and numbers 6 through 9 and 44 through 47 show longitude from Washington D.C. and latitude. The map shows a scale of 50 miles.  All of  this and more is explained in the text page for Maine.

The text page titled "map of maine, explanation" that follows the Maine map:

This enlarged view of the Vermont map shows the various symbols used as well as the impressions of the underlying blocks used in the embossing method. Mountains are shown as a series of short lines in this detail of the Green Mountains:

The map of Florida:

The map of Michigan:

This enlargement of the map of the District of Columbia shows Washington (, Georgetown (g), and Alexandria (a) as well as the President's house (p) and the Capital (c).

The title page to the atlas:

The first page of the introduction to the atlas, explaining the plan:

The second page of the introduction to the atlas:

The covers of the atlas:

Even the title label on the spine of the atlas covers is raised and embossed saying "Atlas of The United States":

Howe wrote about the success of his method of raised relief to teach geography to blind children: "They soon understood that sheets of stiff pasteboard, marked by certain crooked lines, represented the boundaries of countries; rough raised dots represented mountains; pin heads sticking out here and there, showed the locations of towns; or, on a smaller scale, the boundaries of their own town, the location of the meeting-house, of their own and of the neighboring houses, and the like; and they were delighted and eager to go on with tireless curiosity. And they did go on until they matured in years, and became themselves teachers, first in our school, afterwards in a private school opened by themselves in their own town."

Eventually Braille proved more effective than Howe's method of embossed letters, but his maps remain today as wonderful examples of teaching the basic elements of geography and spatial relationships to blind students, enabling them to create the idea of maps as visualizations in their memories. And the Perkins Institute he led continues to teach blind students today, comprising a long and successful record of  blind education, including the teaching of Helen Keller.

View the entire atlas.

Timeline Maps

Mapping time has long been an interest of cartographers. Visualizing historical events in a timeline or chart or diagram is an effective way to show the rise and fall of empires and states, religious history, and important human and natural occurrences. We have over 100 examples in the Rumsey Map Collection, ranging in date from 1770 to 1967. We highlight a few below.

Sebastian Adams' 1881 Synchronological Chart of Universal History is 23 feet long and shows 5,885 years of history, from 4004 B.C. to 1881 A.D. It is the longest timeline we have seen. The recently published Cartographies of Time calls it "nineteenth-century America's surpassing achievement in complexity and synthetic power." In the key to the map, Adams states that timeline maps enable learning and comprehension "through the eye to the mind."

Below is a close up detail of a very small part of the chart: (click on the title or the image to open up the full chart)

Another detail covering a larger area with the chart turned sideways:

Eugene Pick published the Tableau de L'Histoire Universelle in 1858 in two sheets, one for the Eastern Hemisphere (shown here) and one for the Western Hemisphere. The chart shows history from 4004 B.C. to 1856. Like many timelines in this style, it is based on the 1804 Strom der Zeiten (Stream of Time) by Friedrich Strass of Austria. Part of Pick's chart is shown below:

Close up detail of Pick's chart:

Another timeline chart based on the Strass chart was Joseph Colton's 1842 Chart of Universal History. This is one of the earliest examples we have seen of the complete Strass model published in the United States (though earlier partial versions or derivations of the form appeared in the U.S.) The explanation at the bottom of the chart states "Each Nation is represented by a stream which is broken in upon or flows on undisturbed as it is influenced by the accession of Territory or the remaining at Peace."

Detail of Colton's chart:

Emma Willard's 1836 "Picture of nations or perspective sketch of the course of empire" uses innovative perspective to add a time dimension to her chart which is otherwise similar to the Strass-Colton-Pick models. It appears in her "Atlas to Accompany a System of Universal History."

Willard timeline detail:

Emma Willard uses another form of timeline in her 1824 "Progress Of The Roman Empire, Illustrated By The course Of The River Amazon." Here she shows the actual course of the Amazon as a timeline showing the history of the Roman Empire. The chart appeared in her 1824 "Ancient Geography, As Connected With Chronology, And Preparatory to the Study of Ancient History."

Rand McNally published amateur historian John B. Spark's "The Histomap. Four Thousand Years Of World History" in 1931. This popular chart went through many editions. On the cover, Sparks states: "Clear, vivid and shorn of elaboration, Histomap holds you enthralled as you follow the curves of power down time's endless course. Here is the actual picture of the march of civilization from the mud huts of the ancients thru the monarchistic glamour of the middle ages to the living panorama of life in present day America."

Francis Walker's 1874 "Statistical Atlas of the United States" contains many maps and diagrams that show data from the 1870 U.S. Census arrayed in timelines. The chart below, with the title "Fiscal chart of the United States showing the course of the public debt by years 1789 to 1870 together with the proportion of the total receipts from each principal source of revenue and the proportion of total expenditures for each principal department of the public service," shows 80 years of financial data arranged by time:

In 1878 O.W. Gray published "Chart Exhibiting the Relative Rank of the States for Nine Decades (1790-1870)." This is another kind of timeline that shows changing rank relationships between the U.S. states over time:

The chart below appeared in Henry Gannett's "Statistical atlas of the United States, based upon results of the Eleventh Census (1890)." Titled "Growth of the elements of the population: 1790 to 1890. (with) Proportion of aliens to foreign born males 21 years of age and over 1890," it is based on the Eleventh Census (1890) of the United States. It combines perspective, three dimensional views, map and timeline together.

The "Chronological Chart of North American History" appeared in Colton and Fisher's "Illustrated Cabinet Atlas and Descriptive Geography" of 1859. The chart uses color coding to arrange important historical events by time and geography.

Edward Quin published "An Historical Atlas; In a Series of Maps of the World as Known at Different Periods" in 1830. Rather than a strict timeline, Quin creates an entirely unique kind of time map series by using 21 maps that show progressively receding cloud borders to indicate the expansion of geographical knowledge over time. Below are 4 of the 21 maps.

The first map in the series is B.C. 2348. The Deluge:

The third is B.C. 753. The Foundation Of Rome:

The eighth is A.D. 1. The Roman Empire In The Augustan Age:

And the sixteenth is A.D. 1498. The Discovery Of America:

These two time diagrams show time in several locations relative to the time of noon at Washington, D.C.  A.J. Johnson published the diagram below with the title "A Diagram Exhibiting the difference of time between the places shown & Washington." It appeared as the last page in his "New Illustrated (Steel Plate) Family Atlas" of 1860.

Mitchell's "A time table indicating the difference in time between the principal cities of the World and also showing their air-line distance from Washington" is similar with a slight change in style.

Finally, Herbert Bayer's amazing chart below, the "Succession of Life and Geological Time Table" extends the timeline from the birth of the earth to the appearance of man - tying geologic history and the evolution of life together in one chart. It appeared in his "World Geo-Graphic Atlas" of 1953.

San Francisco Aerial Photographs 1938

We have put online a set of 164 large format, sharp, black and white vertical aerial photographs of San Francisco taken in 1938 from an airplane by Harrison Ryker, a pioneer in aerial photography. The photographs overlap each other and cover the entire city. The resolution is generally better than one foot or even higher with high contrast features allowing visibility of even the paint striping on a basketball court.  Relative heights are frequently discernible based on the shadows cast of objects and structures. A handwritten date on the index map indicates the photographs were taken in August, 1938. The photographs are owned by the San Francisco Public Library and are a continuation of our collaboration with them on scanning and putting online important historical maps and views of San Francisco (including our prior collaboration on the 1905 San Francisco Sanborn Insurance Atlas).

Image number 18 of the set shows the active waterfront around the Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street:

Enlarging the image to the area around the Ferry Building shows the high level of detail that can be seen:

Zooming to full resolution of the same scene shows cars and ships at the plaza next to the Ferry Building:

The adjoining image 17, to the south, shows activity of ships being unloaded to trains on the waterfront under the recently opened (November, 1936) San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge:

A closer in detail of the same image shows cars on the Bay Bridge above the ships at the docks:

The Mission Bay Roundhouse (demolished early 1960's) of the Southern Pacific rail yards at Mariposa and 3rd streets is clearly visible on image 14:

In the San Francisco neighborhoods, all kinds of interesting details show up, like the vast outer Sunset sand dunes along Sunset Boulevard on image 148:

Image 85 shows the Calvary and Laurel Hill Cemeteries, later moved to Colma:

Crissy Army Airfield and the Presidio Main Post are seen in image 101:

Parts of the Presidio and other military sites in the city are whited out or blacked out, presumably because they show sensitive military installations, like this area of the Presidio near Baker Beach in image 129:

The index map shows how all the images overlap each other in covering the city, using hand drawn numbered rectangles on top of a 1937 map of San Francisco:

We have created a composite image of all 164 images joined together and georeferenced:

The georeferenced composite images are in Google Earth (requires app) below:

We also have an index layer in Google Earth for the same images that shows the overlap as well as identifying each image:

On mousing over any red image outline, the image number shows and reveals a pop up that allows downloading of the original image or the georeferenced image or the large composite image:

The georeferenced composite image and index can be viewed in the Google Earth desktop application (Composite, Index to Composite, opens in Places/Temporary Places). Or you can view them along with all the 300 plus Rumsey historical maps in Google Earth by downloading this link (opens in Places/Temporary Places, see the New Maps folder).

The overlay of the 1938 images on current satellite images in Google Earth allows for interesting time comparisons, as in this view of the Southern Pacific Mission Bay Roundhouse on image 14, seen blending into the current satellite image of the same area today showing construction of the Mission Bay campus of the University of California, San Francisco:

The person who created the 164 aerial views of San Francisco in 1938 was Harrison Ryker of Oakland, California:

Harrison C. Ryker (1898-1981)

Research by Dan Holmes, Librarian of the Rumsey Map Collection, uncovered the following information on Ryker. Harrison C. Ryker (1898-1981) was born in Oakdale, California. He married Charlotte Seward in the mid-1920s; after divorcing, he married Esther Miriam Munson in 1936. He served in the U.S. Army for several years in Germany with the post-World War I occupational forces, and partook of educational opportunities at the University of California, Berkeley. Expanding on his hobby in photography, Mr. Ryker teamed with various pilots beginning aerial photography services out of the Oakland Airport and throughout the West. Colleagues included Lage Wernstedt of the U.S. Forest Service. He also worked with the Fairchild Aerial Camera Company (including an aerial survey of Puerto Rico) and Clyde Sunderland of Pacific Aerial Surveys. As well, he took photographs of the devastating 1923 Berkeley Fire, archived in The Bancroft Library. By 1938 Mr. Ryker was listed in business as a map publisher (see Polk’s Oakland 1938 Street and Avenue Guide) based at 1924 Franklin St., Oakland. At that time, he had at least one patent pending for a stereoscope used for aerial photograph interpretation. Shortly after 1938 Ryker established his company address as Harrison C. Ryker, Inc., at 1000 Ashby Avenue, Berkeley, California (relocating to east Oakland in the 1950s). He subsequently manufactured pocket and desktop stereoscopes and a vertical Sketchmaster, instruments that were extensively used by educational institutions and the military, especially during World War II. An example of his stereoscope viewers was the M-11:

Advertisement for the Ryker Model M-11 Reflecting Stereoscope

Ryker's experience in aerial photography led to further involvement in photo interpretation and cartography. An article in the journal The Timberman (1933) describes means of distinguishing individual species of forest trees on aerial photos; later applications were terrain analysis for petroleum geology and unmasking of ground camouflage during wartime. His largest product was the Wernstedt Mahan map plotter, patented in 1954, which was a standard cartographic device for its time. His instruments are in use today in libraries, air photo collections, and earth sciences departments throughout America; they are in the instrument collections of the Archives of the History of American Psychology, and the Institute of Geographical Exploration at Harvard University has the Ryker M-11 Reflecting Stereoscope. Among his patents were (1) the adjustable pocket stereoscope filed with the United States Patent Office, patented December 1940, Patent No. 2,225,602; and (2) the stereoscope filed with the United States Patent Office, filed September 1, 1937, Serial No. 161,973, patented January 21, 1941, Patent No. 2,229,309. Harrison Ryker pioneered research in aerial photo interpretation. His work has been noted by A. Everett Wieslander, an early (1930s – 1950s) leader in the mapping of California vegetation and soils, in his Oral History produced by The Bancroft Library, and in a letter by Robert Colwell, Forestry Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Some of our information regarding Harrison Ryker is from personal communications with Ryker's son, Harrison Clinton Ryker, a musicologist  from Bellevue, Washington.

First Atlas of Russia, Published in 1745

The first Atlas of Russia from 1745 has been added to the online collection. It was published by the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, Russia, expanding on the cartographic work done previously by Russian cartographer Ivan K. Kirilov. Joseph Nicolas de L'Isle, the great French astronomer, was invited by the Academy of Sciences in 1726 to come to St. Petersburg to oversee the production of the atlas, although his role and contributions to the atlas are disputed by historians. The atlas maps present the first complete national survey of the entire country at uniform scales for European and Asiatic Russia. Alexei Postnikov, author of "Russia in Maps," says this atlas "brings together all the geographical discoveries of the early 18th century to give a fuller picture of the entire Empire than shown in the so-called Kirilov atlas. The maps were mostly based on instrumental surveys, geographical descriptions and maps compiled by the Petrine geologists and their successors." Normally the atlas includes 20 maps; this copy is special in adding an additional 17 maps and 2 text pages, including plans of St. Petersburg and Moscow (similar to a copies at the Library of Congress, Phillips 4060 and Phillips 3109). The maps have titles in German and Latin; place names are in Russian and Latin alphabet. The text of cartouches is in Latin. The atlas was also issued with French and Russian title pages and text, with the title Atlas Russicus and Atlas Rossiiskoi. This copy contains 7 pages of text with descriptions of the maps and explanations of geographical names and symbols used in German, Russian, French and Latin, a general map of the Russian empire, 13 maps of European Russia at a uniform scale of 1:1,470,000 (35 versts to one inch, 1 verst equals 3,500 feet), and 6 maps of Siberia at a uniform scale of 1:3,444,000 (82 versts to one inch). Bound in at end of the atlas are 19 additional text and maps of Russian territories, plans from the Russo-Turkish war of 1736, engravings of military fortifications, maps of Ladoga Lake, environs of St. Petersburg, Kronstadt and the Gulf of Finland. Maps are colored in outline, with some maps in full color. We have added 2 composite images of all 13 maps of European Russia and all 6 maps of Siberia. The atlas was printed in September 1745 in St. Petersburg. View the atlas.

The general map of the Russian Empire extends from the Baltic to the Pacific Ocean at a scale of 1: 9,030,000:

Each of the 13 maps of European Russia are drawn at a scale of 1:1,470,00 or 35 versts to the inch.  Many have decorative cartouches:

This map shows a long portion of the Volga River:

The 6 maps of Asiatic Russia (Siberia) are at a scale of 1: 3,444,000 or 82 versts to the inch:

A Legend (in German) on the last page of text describes the various symbols used on the maps:

This atlas is unusual in having an additional 17 maps and 2 indexes added to the 20 maps that usually comprise the atlas. Among the 17 extra maps is a plan of St. Petersburg from 1737:

Also included is a map showing the Gulf of Finland between St. Petersburg and the island of Cronstad, and the outlet of the Neva River in St. Petersburg, 1741:

And a plan of Moscow from 1739:

A map of the Caspian Sea from 1728:

We have created 2 composite images, 1 of the 13 maps of European Russia and 1 of the 6 maps of Asiatic Russia or Siberia. Here is the composite image of the European Russia Maps:

And here is the composite image of the Siberian maps:

4 languages are used in the atlas: Russian, German, Latin and French (although French is used primarily in the map cartouches and notes). The atlas title page and text pages were printed in 3 versions: Russian, French/Latin, and German. The title page and 6 pages of text describing the maps and Russian geographical terms in this copy are the German version:

The index page for the map of Moscow is in Russian:

The text page describing the some of the Turkish Russian War battles is in Latin, Russian, and German:

Considering the vastness of the Russian Empire, this atlas was a remarkable achievement. While not accurate by today's standards, at the time it was a significant improvement in cartographic representation of the country, and it was certainly then the largest part of the globe mapped systematically at a uniform scale, using the best science of the day.

Pre-Earthquake San Francisco 1905 Sanborn Insurance Atlas

A rare 6 volume 1905 San Francisco Sanborn Insurance Atlas showing the city as it was just months before the great earthquake and fire of 1906 has been added to the map site in collaboration with the San Francisco Public Library which owns the atlas and keeps it in its San Francisco History Center at the main library branch. The atlas was published in 1899/1900 and was updated manually several times by the publisher, the Sanborn-Perris Map Company of New York, with the last updates done in the fall of 1905. The 6 atlas volumes show the city in great detail, with building shape, height, construction materials, and many other details typical of fire insurance atlases of the period. Apparently the volumes were never updated after the earthquake and fire (except for a few small 1908 updates) because the atlas was damaged in the fire with some loss to the edges (as can be seen from the map images).

Update: a wonderful index and map placement tool for these maps is (note: this site went dark in 2017)  available at

Index Map for Volume 1:

An example of the pages: Volume 1, Pages 5-6, blocks bounded by California, Washington, Davis, East and Market Streets:

Detail of Pages 5-6, one block bounded by California, Sacramento, Davis, and Drumm Streets:

The Key explaining all the map symbols:

Index Map for Volume 2:

Index Map for Volume 3:

Index Map for Volume 4:

Index Map for Volume 5:

Index Map for Volume 6:

Many of the downtown blocks in this atlas can also be seen as street front drawings in the 1895 Illustrated Directory of San Francisco.

We are grateful to City Archivist Susan Goldstein of the San Francisco History Center, Book Arts and Special Collections, San Francisco Public Library for suggesting this project to us and making the volumes available for scanning and uploading to our online collection. We hope to collaborate on more projects with Susan and the San Francisco Public Library.

Karte des Deutschen Reiches 1893 (Map of the German Empire)

The Karte des Deutschen Reiches 1893 consists of 674 sheets at a scale of 1:100,000. All sheets join together to make a huge, highly detailed and historically significant map of about 1,155 cm x 980 cm (38 ft x 32 ft), covering all of present day Germany and much of present day Poland. The maps show the landscape as it was at the end of the 19th century. We have completed the process of scanning all the sheets individually as well as making a very large digital composite image of all 674 sheets joined. We have put sheets 1 to 674 online and made a composite image of sheets 1 to 674. The composite image is also placed in Google Earth (requires app download)(the georeferenced composite image and any of its parts may be downloaded through the Google Earth Index Map), allowing comparison of the historical map with current satellite imagery and other information layers. We completed the project on October 1, 2011. The publication dates of the sheets vary, generally from about 1800 to 1900. For the whole series we use an average date of 1893.

After German unification in 1871, in an agreement dated March 4, 1878, the states of Prussia, Saxony, Bavaria, and Wurttemberg (the areas of modern day Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, and Kaliningrad, and part of Lithuania) agreed to map their areas on a 1:100,000 scale in a common topographic grid survey consisting of 674 sheets. Each sheet covers about 30 minutes in longitude and 15 minutes in latitude. One centimeter on a map is equivalent to 1 kilometer on the ground. Average sheet size is about 35 cm x 28 cm. Each sheet covers about 1000 square kilometers and was engraved on copper. A polyhedral projection was used. Prime meridian was Ferro, later switched to Greenwich.

The series is known as the KDR-100 (German General Staff map) and was surveyed beginning in 1878, although many sheets were simply drawn from pre-existing military maps, often of larger (more detailed) scale. This map series is remarkable for the level of fine detail. As a consequence, it was scanned at 800 PPI providing four times the resolution of the typical detailed map scan of 400 PPI.

Below is a detail of part of Sheet 269, Berlin, 1893: (clicking on any of the images below will open them)

Detail of Sheet 269 Berlin  Karte des Deutschen Reiches 1893

Here is part of the same sheet at 800% magnification:

Detail at 800% magnification of Sheet 269 Berlin  Karte des Deutschen Reiches 1893

The dates of the maps are estimated based on the apparent library acquisition date, frequently stamped on the back of the map sheet, usually 1893. The maps are mounted on linen in 4, 6, or 8 panels.  Comparing our sheets to those at the Library of Congress shows that most of our sheets were published 5 to 10 years before the stamped acquisition date. Thus most sheets were published between 1883 and 1888.  A few sheets are duplicated and placed under similar list numbers.

Below is a typical sheet, Sheet 46, Neustadt in West-Pr. 1893, dissected into four parts and folded, with the map seller's label and map scale pasted on one fold:

Sheet 46. Neustadt in West-Pr. Karte des Deutschen Reiches. 1893

Here is the same map, with the four sections joined into a composite, to make georeferencing more accurate.

(Composite of) Sheet 46. Neustadt in West-Pr. Karte des Deutschen Reiches. 1893

Below is a detail of the same Sheet 46, Neustadt in West-Pr. 1893 at 400% magnification:

All 674 sheets are joined together in one composite image. The image is 401,310 pixels wide by 332,060 pixels high, 380 GB. Below are sheets 1 to 674 joined together in the composite image and shown in the Luna Browser:

(Composite of) Sheets 1 - 674 Karte des Deutschen Reiches. 1893

The same composite image can also be viewed in Google Earth:

Germany 1893 layer in Google Earth (requires plug-in)

And the index sheet for the composite image can be viewed in Google Earth:

Germany 1893 Index layer in Google Earth (requires plug-in)

The composite image and the index sheet can also be viewed in the Google Earth desktop application (requires download if you do not have Google Earth installed). Or you can view these layers along with 300 other historical maps from the Rumsey Collection in Google Earth by clicking on this link.

The Karte des Deutschen Reiches have extraordinary map detail and many kinds of cultural, physical, political, and historical information. At least ten separate symbols for special buildings were utilized, a method enhanced by placing an abbreviation next to the symbol. Structures with special symbols include: churches, chapels, monuments, windmills, water mills, stamp mills, forester’s lodges, watchtowers, ruins, forts, quarries, clay pits, lime kilns, and coke-ovens. Factories, brick works, powder magazines, and many other important buildings are differentiated by means of abbreviation. Houses appear as black blocks, either rectangular or shaped like the ground plan of the building. Many other features are differentiated, for example there are four different qualities of roads plus bridle paths and footpaths.  See the legend here

Vegetation is minutely classified including separate symbols for broadleaf trees, evergreens, underbrush, heather, dry meadows, wet meadows, swamps, orchards, gardens, vineyards, and parks. Relief is shown by hachures. Spot elevations are given in meters above sea level.

This collection strongly trends toward the earliest editions. They were published for the General Staffs of Bavaria, Prussia, Saxony and Wurttemberg by several issuers, but most were by “R. Eisenschmidt, Verlags-Buchhandlung ” (publishing bookstore). (Berlin). Key organizations indicated on the maps include (1) Topographic Bureau of Royal Saxony, abbreviated in German as “topogr. bureau des konigl. sachs.” And (2) Royal Prussian General Staff, abbreviated in German as “Kgl. Preuss. Generalstab.”

Most sheets are stamped with "The Library of Massachusetts, State House, Boston," and the apparent date of acquisition. Almost all of the sheets are trimmed to the neatline to allow for closer alignment of multiple sheets when viewing, apparently a common practice by publishers of the sheets. Therefore the printed publishing date has been removed in most cases and we are estimating the date based on the acquisition stamp date (usually 1893).

Cataloging and research for the maps was done by Daniel Holmes, Librarian of the Rumsey Collection. Scanning and georeferencing of the map images was done by Glenn Bachmann of Cartography Associates. Global Mapper software was used to georeference and composite the map images. We are grateful to the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress for providing images of four sheets that were missing from the Rumsey Collection.

Cartouches, or Decorative Map Titles

Cartouches are the elaborate decorations that frame map titles and other information about the map. They add an artistic or symbolic narrative to the maps they describe. According to map historian Edward Lynam, cartouches that frame titles first appear on Italian maps in the 16th century. They persist on maps until the middle of the 19th century, going through many stylistic changes. Below are selected cartouches from maps in our collection, beginning in 1703 and ending in 1852. The cartouche styles in this 150 year period are remarkable for their diversity, symbolism, social commentary, and artistic beauty. Many of the cartouches appear to have iconographic meanings that may be lost to us today. Others are just wildly ornate, attempting to give the map they introduce a more arresting aspect. 50 cartouches are shown below; click on any of the images to see the larger maps that the cartouches embellish.

This first group of three cartouches are from Guillaume de Lisle's World Atlas of 1731:

Carte du Canada ou de la Nouvelle France et des decouvertes que y ont ete faites; Guillaume de Lisle; 1708.

Carte des Courones du Nord. Dediee au tres puissant et tres invincible Prince Charles XII; Guillaume de Lisle; 1706.

Carte de la Grece. Dressee sur un grand nombre de memoires anciens et nouveaux; Guillaume de Lisle; 1707.

Henry Popple's 1733 atlas Map of the British Empire in America features a cartouche remarkable for its mysterious symbolism, including a severed head of a (we assume European) man with an arrow sticking into it:

A Map of the British Empire in America with the French and Spanish Settlements adjacent thereto; Henry Popple; 1733.

 A detail of the Henry Popple map cartouche showing the severed head with arrow, a crocodile, two monkeys, and female figure.

Another detail of the Henry Popple map cartouche showing a female figure with child, pointing to scenes of trade and commerce.

The large, ornate cartouche of John Mitchell's Map of the British and French Dominions in North America is shown below in the London edition, the Paris edition by Le Rouge, and the derivative Italian edition by Zatta:

A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America ; John Mitchell; 1757 (London edition).

Amerique Septentrionale avec les Routes, Distances en miles, Limites et Establissements Francois et Anglais. Par le Docteur Mitchel; John MItchell; 1756 (Paris edition by Le Rouge).

Le Colonie Unite dell' America Settentrle; Mitchell, John; Raynal, G.T.; Zatta, Antonio; 1778 (Venice, Italy, edition by Zatta).

Here is the elegant map cartouche of the immense, nine sheet Plan of St. Petersburg 1753, with a depiction of and dedication to the Empress Elizabeth of Russia:

Plan stolichnago goroda Sanktpeterburga s izobraheniem znatiieshikh onago prospektov, izdannyi trudami Imperatorskoi Akademii nauk i khudozhestv. Plan de la ville de St. Petersbourg avec ses principales vues dessine & grave sous la direction de l'Academie imperiale des sciences et des arts; Akademiia nauk SSSR; 1753.

Five imaginative and artistic map cartouches from the Atlas Universel by Didier and Gilles Robert de Vaugondy, 1757:

Carte de l'Egypte Ancienne et Moderne; Didier and Gilles Robert de Vaugondy; 1753.

L'Empire de la Chine, Dresse d'apres les cartes de l'Atlas Chinois; Didier and Gilles Robert de Vaugondy; 1751.

L'Empire du Japon; Didier and Gilles Robert de Vaugondy; 1750.

Nouvelle France ou le Canada; Didier and Gilles Robert de Vaugondy; 1755.

Etats du Grand-Seigneur en Asie, Perse, Pays des Usbecs, Arabie; Didier and Gilles Robert de Vaugondy; 1753.

Thomas Jefferys used cartouches showing scenes of commerce and landscape in many of the maps in his American Atlas, published after his death by Sayer and Bennet in 1776, three of which are shown below:

A Map of the most Inhabited part of New England; Thomas Jefferys; 1776.

A Map of the most Inhabited part of Virginia; Thomas Jefferys; 1776.

The Provinces of New York, and New Jersey; with part of Pennsilvania, and the Province of Quebec; Thomas Jefferys; 1776.

Some of Thomas Jefferys' maps were also published posthumously by Kitchin, Laurie and Whittle in their New Universal Atlas of 1787, including this map of the Western Coast of Africa (derived from a French map by D'Anville) with a cartouche full of various African themes:

The western coast of Africa from Cape Blanco to Cape Virga; Thomas Jefferys; 1789.

Even Thomas Jefferys' trade-card was in the form of an elaborate cartouche:

Thomas Jefferys Engraver... (trade card advertisement); Thomas Jefferys; 1750.

James Cook's 1773 map of South Carolina has a cartouche that follows Jefferys' themes of colonial enterprise, nature, and indigenous peoples:

A Map of the Province of South Carolina; James Cook; 1773.

The four cartouches below using engraved Baroque style frames are from maps in Thomas Kitchin's General Atlas of 1790:

England and Wales; John Rocque; 1790.

Map of the Empire of Germany; Louis Stanislas d'Arcy Delarochette; 1790.

A new map of North America, with the West India Islands; Thomas Pownall; 1786.

A map of South America; Thomas Kitchin; 1787.

William Faden's General Atlas of 1811 included the four map cartouches below, placing titles in buildings, on mountains and rocks, and adding humorous elements (as on the map of Turkey in Europe):

Greece, Archipelago and part of Anadoli; Louis Stanislas d'Arcy Delarochette, William Faden; 1791.

Nouvelle carte de la Suisse; William Faden; 1799.

A map of Bengal, Bahar, Oude & Allahabad; James Rennell, William Faden; 1786.

European dominions of the Ottomans, or Turkey in Europe; William Faden; 1795.

Aaron Arrowsmith, London map publisher, used cartouches on many of his wall maps, including depictions of Niagara Falls, the tropics, and portraits of explorer Captain James Cook:

A map of the United States of North America; Aaron Arrowsmith; 1802.

Map of America; Aaron Arrowsmith; 1811.

Map of the World on a Globular Projection; Aaron Arrowsmith; 1808.

American map publishers used modest cartouches starting in the late 18th century and gradually developed more elaborate ones in the first half of the 19th century:

Vermont From actual Survey Delineated & Engraved by Amos Doolittle; Mathew Carey; 1795.

Connecticut From the best Authorities. Delineated & Engraved by A. Doolittle; Mathew Carey; 1796.

Map Of Massachusetts; Osgood Carleton; 1801.

New Hampshire; Philip Carrigain; 1816.

To The Citizens Of Philadelphia This New Plan Of The City And Its Environs Is respectfully dedicated By the Editor; Charles P. Varle; 1802.

The State of New York with part of the adjacent States; John H. Eddy; 1818.

Map of Pennsylvania, constructed from the county surveys authorized by the State; John Melish; 1826.

Samuel Lewis' simple illustration of a traveler with his dog form the title cartouche for his 1819 map of the United States:

The travellers guide. A new and correct map of the United States; Samuel Lewis; 1819.

Joseph Bouchette's maps of Canada were surveyed and drawn by him in Canada, but printed in London by William Faden. The cartouches for two of the maps below are extremely ornate, probably reflecting the influence of Faden:

Map of the Provinces of Upper & Lower Canada with the adjacent parts of the United States of America; Joseph Bouchette, William Faden; 1815.

Topographical map of the Province of Lower Canada; Joseph Bouchette, William Faden; 1815.

Philadelphia map publisher Henry Tanner used scenes of the American landscape in his panoramic cartouches for his maps of North America, New England, and the United States:

A Map of North America; Henry Tanner; 1823.

Map Of The States Of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut & Rhode Island; Henry Tanner; 1823.

United States of America; Henry Tanner; 1829.

Smaller, independent American map publishers produced some interesting variations. This pocket map of Ohio by Columbus, Ohio map publisher Hiram Platt has an unusual cartouche:

Ohio; Hiram Platt; 1825.

S.A. Mitchell and James H. Young of Philadelphia used landscape and commerce as the themes for this cartouche:

Map Of The United States; Samuel Augustus Mitchell, James H. Young; 1831.

Even American school atlas maps had cartouches, as shown in this map from  Thomas Smiley's Atlas of 1842:

N. America; Thomas T. Smiley; 1842.

By the middle of the 19th century, map cartouches were incorporating actual views of cities or landscapes into the  maps to add decoration to the titles, as in this map of Naples, Italy and the one below it of North America:

Naples. Napoli.; Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge: 1844.

Map of North America; J.H. Colton; 1852.

The use of views to embellish maps largely replaced decorative cartouches after 1850.  In a sense, the illustrated cartouche now wraps the entire map, not just the title. Three examples are shown below, the first from the Illustrated Atlas of 1851 by Martin and Tallis:

Ceylon; R.M. Martin, J & F. Tallis: 1851.

An even more ornate example of map illustration is this map from Levasseur's Atlas National Illustre des 86 Departments et des Possessions De La France from 1856:

Dept. De Corsica; Victor Levasseur; 1856.

The final example of the use of views is this map from Fullarton's Royal Illustrated Atlas of 1872, one of the last of the decorative atlases published in the 19th century:

British Possessions on the North East Coast of South America; A. Fullarton & C0.; 1872.

This entire group of cartouches and the maps they are taken from can be seen as a slide-show or as a group.  For further reading, especially on the early period of map cartouches from the 16th and 17th centuries, see Edward Lynam's discussion of cartouches in his 1953 Mapmaker's Art (PDF).

19th Century Maps by Children

In the 18th and 19th centuries, children were taught geography by making their own maps, usually copies of maps available to them in books and atlases at their schools or homes. Below is a group of maps and geographical diagrams made by children in the 19th century; and some of the school atlases, geographies, and wall maps that may have been their sources. These old maps made by children were hand drawn and colored, one-of-a-kind productions, and it is amazing that any have survived down to our time. That they have is due to luck and the efforts of families to preserve the history of their children. These maps have a special poignancy today in the way that they reflect the optimism of youth from another time.

The geographical diagram of Connecticut below is from Frances A. Henshaw's Book of Penmanship Executed at the Middlebury Female Academy April 29, 1823. She drew geographical diagrams for each of her hand-drawn maps in her book. Notwithstanding the title, this geography book is drawn by a very promising student. It includes descriptions of Astronomical Geography, the Ptolemaic, Brahean and Copernican Systems, Comets, Great Circles, Equator, Meridian, Horizon, Colures, Tropics, Polar Circles, Zones, Climates, Latitude and Longitude, a section titled "America," and 19 maps of the states with a descriptive geographical diagram for each.

Geographical Diagram showing information about Connecticut including the bounding States, by Frances A. Henshaw, from Frances A. Henshaw's Book of Penmanship Executed at the Middlebury Female Academy April 29, 1823.

The diagram above accompanied a hand-drawn map of Connecticut, shown below. Of the 19 maps in her book, most were copied from the 1805 edition of Carey's American Pocket Atlas (see our 1796 edition, which is similar), except for Ohio, which is from Arrowsmith and Lewis' Atlas, 1812, and Indiana, from an unknown source.

Map of Connecticut, by Frances A. Henshaw, from Frances A. Henshaw's Book of Penmanship Executed at the Middlebury Female Academy April 29, 1823.

The text sections of her book are copied from Morse's "Geography Made Easy", probably 1807 edition, but the text describing the maps in her geographical diagrams is entirely original. The geographical diagrams themselves are very unusual and unlike anything we have seen in children's books. A selection of them is shown below:

Nine examples of Henshaw's geographic diagrams for her maps of U.S. states

Henshaw saved her book and gave it to her son, T.A. Post, in 1872, a year before she died. Note the inscription on the bottom of the title page, just below the date of April 29, 1823, when she finished her book. That she kept the book for 44 years into her adult life and then passed it on to her son indicates how much she valued it. 

Henshaw's presentation inscription to her son, Truman Augustus Post, February 4, 1872

About a year after we scanned and put the book in our online map library, we were emailed by Henshaw's great-great grandson Truman Young who said "I recently found an item on the online David Rumsey collection that appears to be a notebook written by my great-great-grandmother, Frances Alsop Henshaw Post (1809-1873). I have more information about her, if that would be a useful addition to your records. For example the "T.A. Post" referred to on the title page is her son, Truman Augustus Post (1838-1902)." Mr. Young will visit our library later in 2010 and we hope to gain more information from him about his remarkable ancestor, Frances Henshaw, who would have been 14 years old when she made these maps.

View the entire Frances Henshaw "Book of Penmanship" as a slide-show.

Emma Willard (1787-1870) was a prominent teacher who believed that young women should learn geography by making maps. It is likely that her influence on teaching practices of the first half of the 19th century played a role in the creation of children's maps by young women at the time. Willard published several history school books that included many very imaginative maps and charts that no doubt inspired students to think of space and time as integral dimensions of history.  An example is her Atlas to Accompany a System of Universal History, which contains "A chronological picture of nations, or perspective sketch of the course of empire. (and) the progressive geography of the World, in a series of maps, adapted to the different epochas [sic] of the history."  Her time-line "Picture of nations or perspective sketch of the course of empire" is shown below:

Picture of nations or perspective sketch of the course of empire. To accompany Willard's Universal history in perspective.

In the same book, Willard uses receding dark clouds shrouding parts of the maps to show the expansion of geographical knowledge over time, a convention she probably borrowed from Edward Quin's Historical Atlas of 1830. This technique is an especially delightful visualization that no doubt stimulated children's imaginations and may have helped them remember historical eras. Below is one of her cloud maps showing the period from BC 1921 to the Christian Era:

B.C. 1921. B.C. 1491. B.C. 980. B.C. 752. B.C. 323. Christian era. To accompany Willard's Universal history in perspective.

Children often made individual maps or groups of maps. Eliza S. Ordway made a small wall map of the United States in 1829, with black rollers top and bottom as was the style for commercially made wall maps of the period.

Map of the United States by Eliza S. Ordway, 1829

Anna M. Bullard drew her "Map of the World" in hemispheres in 1836 in Boston, Massachusetts. Her cartography is somewhat simplified but generally accurate for the time. She also used a wall-map style, including varnishing the map to better preserve it.

Map of the World. Executed by Anna M. Bullard. Boston March 15, 1836. Western Hemisphere. Eastern Hemisphere.

Maria Symonds of the Topsfield Academy in Topsfield, Massachusetts, made this map of the United States and dated it 1830. It bears a strong resemblance to John Melish's United States of 1822 (although the Melish map does not cover the West Coast). This is very well drawn, backed with linen and varnished, and outlined in color.

United States. Maria Symonds. Topsfield Academy. 1830.

Another map of the United States--we think made about 1821, based on the geography and boundaries in the map-- was most likely done by a student using the John Melish 1816 United States Map (which covers the entire county coast to coast) as a source. 

Anonymous Student, United States, 1821

It is interesting to compare the above two maps' delineation of Florida and get a closer look at their styles of drawing and level of detail:

    Anonymous Student, United States, 1821                                                   Maria Symonds, United States, 1830

Most of the children's maps in our collection are by young women. Only a few are by young men. These three maps made by Bradford Scott are very individualized productions and striking in their use of bold colors and strong lines.

North America. Bradford Scott.

United States of America by Bradford Scott 1816.

South America. By Bradford Scott. 1816.

The earliest children's atlas that we have in the collection is "A General Atlas, done by Frances Bowen under the care of her Sister Eliza in the year 1810"

Title page to Frances Bowen's "A General Atlas," 1810

Bowen has 37 maps in the atlas, all carefully drawn. The result is very fine and these are some of the most delicate and well executed children's maps we have seen. The paper is watermarked J. Whatman 1808 and E & P 1804, both English watermarks. Hence we assume that Bowen is from England; furthermore, the meridian is from London on the World and U.S. maps, although she could be American. Her World map is shown below:

World map. By Frances Bowen. 1810

View the Frances Bowen General Atlas as a slide-show

In addition to the previously mentioned influence of Emma Willard, children and students were inspired to draw maps by reading the many other teaching and school atlases that were published in the 18th and 19th centuries. Our online map collection has over 600 maps and images from school atlases. Some of these books encouraged children to draw either by showing simplified maps of the word that were easy to copy, or by specifically providing blank map sheets for the students to fill in.

Johann Baptist Homann published his teaching atlas, the Atlas Methodicus in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1719.

Title page to Homann's "Atlas Methodicus," 1719

An example of the simplified maps in Homann's atlas is this map showing California as an island off the coast of North America, a common geographical misconception of the 18th century. California is identified with the letter "C" which is then listed under the text pages on the islands of North America.

A portion of "Charte von America. Johanne Baptista Homanno, Norimbergae, 1719"

William Faden, a London map and atlas publisher, published the exquisite Geographical Exercises in 1777, containing pairs of drawn maps and blank maps. Students were expected to copy the drawn maps onto the blank maps and thereby learn the geography by drawing it.

Title page to William Faden's "Geographical Exercises,Calculated to Facilitate the Study of Geography," 1777

Faden's Map of Asia is paired with a blank Map of Asia, the blank sheet showing clearly the interesting polyconic projection used to draw the map.

"Asia. Engraved by Jefferys & Faden, Geographers to the King." 1777

"Asia. London, publish'd by Jefferys & Faden, Corner of St. Martin's Lane, Charing Cross." 1775

In the 19th century, Samuel Augustus Mitchell of Philadelphia published in 1839 a School Atlas that was accompanied by a separate Atlas of Outline Maps. Below is the drawn Map of the United States from the School Atlas and the outline Map of the United States from the Atlas of Outline Maps:

"Map of the United States and Texas Engraved to Illustrate Mitchell's School and Family Geography. No. 4. (with) Map of Mexico and Guatimala ... No. 5" 1839

"Map of the United States and Texas. (with) Map of Mexico and Guatimala." Entered ... 1839, by S. Augustus Mitchell.

View a slide-show of Mitchell's drawn and outline maps.

Another example of school atlases that taught map drawing is George W. Fitch's Mapping Plates from 1850, "designed for learners in geography, being a collection of plates prepared for delineating maps of the World, and countries forming its principal subdivisions ..." Student Lydia S. Weeks completed this page of the Western and Eastern Hemispheres:

"Western Hemisphere ... Eastern Hemisphere drawn by Lydia S. Weeks." By George W. Fitch.

In addition to Lydia Weeks, several other students filled in the map plates.  View the entire Fitch "Mapping Plates" book as a slide show below.  Click on the link "Go to Source" to view larger.

Towards the end of the 19th century, solutions to teaching map drawing became even more imaginative, including the use of stencils in the Drawing Teacher published in 1885. It has six stencil maps in its box, below, one of the United States (shown) and five more of the continents:

It gives me special pleasure to share these maps online, as I have long treasured them as special parts of the collection. Imagine what would happen today if we brought back the classroom practice of making maps to teach geographical literacy, with all the easy tools and satellite images of the Earth available on our desktops, and these old children's maps for inspiration.

Carte de France - The National Survey of France 1750 - 1815

The Carte de  France was one of the first national surveys completed on the same scale, 100 toises (a toise was equal to 6ft and the equivalent scale today would be 1:86,400), according to a specific plan.  It was led by several generations of the Cassini family (not to be confused with the Italian globemaker Giovanni M. Cassini) starting in the 1740's and continuing through the French revolution and  Napoleon's time, to 1815.  Four generations of the Cassini family held the position of director of the Paris Observatory, and three of those worked on the Carte de France: Jacques Cassini (Cassini II, 1677-1756); Cesar-Francois Cassini (Cassini III, 1714-1784); and Jean Dominique Cassini (Cassini IV, 1748-1845).  The 182 sheets that comprise the map are superb examples of cartographic engraving.  The use of trigonometric surveying techniques gave the map a high degree of accuracy for its time.  The sheets can therefore be joined together to present a unified view of France in the 18th century.  In the view below, they are joined digitally - if they were physically joined together they would form a map about 39 feet high by 38 feet wide:

(Composite of 182 sheet) Carte de France. Levee par ordre du Roy. (1750-1815), Cassini family; Cassini, Cesar-Francois, 1714-178, Paris, 1750 - 1815

The Tableau de la Carte Generale de la France by Louis Capitaine shows the plan of dividing the country into map sheets:

Tableau de la carte generale de la France. Pour servir a l'assemblage de 24 feuilles de la carte reduite sur l'Echelle d'une ligne pour 400 toises, et de celle en 180 feuilles, Capitaine, Louis, ca. 1749-ca. 1797, Paris, 1797

At the bottom of the Tableau is an Explication des Caracteres Geographiques employes dans la Carte Generale de la France, which is a key to the symbols used in the 182 sheet map - there are no keys on the sheets themselves.  As such, it is invaluable in understanding the cultural information on the maps.  A portion of the key is shown below in detail (click on the image to see the full key).  Additional explanations of the map symbols can be found on this site.

A portion of the Explication des Caracteres Geographiques employes dans la Carte Generale de la France

The plan for the triangulation survey is shown clearly in the Nouvelle carte qui comprend les principaux triangles... published in 1744 by Cesar-Francois Cassini and Giovanni Domenico Maraldi:

Nouvelle carte qui comprend les principaux triangles qui servent de fondement a la description geometrique de la France, Cassini, Cesar-Francois, 1714-1784; Maraldi, Giovanni Domenico, Paris, 1744

The first sheet published was centered on Paris, with the prime meridian running through the Paris Observatory and titled Carte de France Levee par ordre du Roy Premiere Feuille:

Carte de France levee par ordre du Roy. No. 1 (Paris). Ecrit par Bougoin. 1736 (i.e. 1756, corr. 1761-1762,  Cassini family; Cassini, Cesar-Francois, 1714-178, Paris, 1762 (revised from the first edition of 1756)

This close up of sheet 1 shows Paris and the meridian passing through the Paris Observatory.  It also gives a good sense of the rich cultural information shown on the sheets (click to open in a new window with zoom and pan):

Detail of sheet 1, Paris, showing the city and the intersection of the two meridians at the Paris observatory

The production of the atlas sheets continued for about 65 years, to 1815. The cartographic style changed somewhat over that period, with slightly different symbols used for cultural and natural features at different times.  Yet the map still has a consistency that that is impressive for such a long project.  A version of the map on a reduced scale of 400 toises (1:345,600) on 24 sheets was published in 1790:

(Composite of 24 sheet) Carte de la France. Dediee au Roi. Par les directeurs et associes de la Carte de la France, Cassini, Cesar-Francois, 1714-1784; Capitaine, Louis, ca. 1749-ca. 1797; Cassini famil, Paris, 1790

We have georeferenced both the 100 and 400 toises issues of the Carte de France and put them in Google Maps and in Google Earth.  Below is the 100 toises scale map in Google Maps (click on the image to open in Google Maps).  The 400 toises reduced scale map can also been seen in Google Maps.

The 182 sheet Carte de France, 1750 - 1815, in Google Maps

The Carte de France in Google Maps and Google Earth can be searched by location, for example (in Google Maps) Marseilles, or Bordeaux, or Paris Environs, or regions like Brittany.

The 100 toises scale map in Google Earth is below (requires Google Earth app).  The 400 toises scale map can also be viewed in Google Earth.

The 182 sheet Carte de France, 1750 - 1815, in Google Earth

Julius Bien, Master Printer and Cartographer

Julius Bien (1826-1909) was an American lithographic printer and cartographer who worked in New York City in the second half of the 19th century.  He was responsible for the publication of thousands of maps issued by the U.S. government and private map publishers. He was a pioneer in the development of chromolithography. He is recognized as one of the finest map printers of his time.  The Rumsey collection contains over 1,100 maps published by Bien.  Although authorship of 19th century maps and atlases is never limited to one person, and most of these cartographic productions list authors other than Bien, it is clear that he had a major role in shaping the final results.  Bien's printing and publishing of geological maps was outstanding and he took geological visualizations to new levels, as can be seen in the example below from Hayden's Atlas of Colorado, 1881.

One of the plates for Hayden's Atlas of Colorado, printed by Bien.  Title: SW. Colorado and Parts of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories. F.V. Hayden in Charge. Wm. H. Holmes, and F.M. Endlich, Geological Assistants. Surveyed in 1874 & '75. Sheet XV.

Bien was born in Naumburg, Germany in 1826 and was educated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cassel and at Stadel's Institute in Frankfurt. He became involved with the German revolution of 1848, which led to his immigration to America in 1849. He established a lithographic business in New York City in 1850 and continued it there for over 50 years. Bien was drawn to map publishing and was interested in improving the quality of map printing.  He  made maps for the growing western surveys including the Pacific Railroad Surveys, the census, the coast surveys, and provided maps during the Civil War. Although primarily a printer, he did publish later in his career several atlases.  His deep interest and understanding of the science of printing make his productions exceptional.  He was given numerous awards during his lifetime and was the first president of the National Lithographers Association.  In addition to his cartographic productions, Bien issued exquisite chromolithographic reproductions of Audubon's Birds of America.

Of Bien's many atlases, his Grand Canyon, Colorado, and Fortieth Parallel are outstanding examples, shown below.

Department Of The Interior, United States Geological Survey, J.W. Powell Director. Atlas To Accompany The Monograph On The Tertiary History Of The Grand Canon District By Capt. Clarence E. Dutton U.S.A. Washington 1882. Julius Bien & Co. Lith. New York. Department Of The Interior. United States Geological And Geographical Surveys Of The Territories. Geological And Geographical Atlas Of Colorado And Portions Of Adjacent Territory By F.V. Hayden, U.S. Geologist In Charge. Corrected To Date And Printed In Accordance With An Act Of Congress Approved February 9th 1881. Julius Bien, Lith. Geological and Topographical Atlas Accompanying the Report of the Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel Made by the Authority of the Honorable Secretary of War under the direction of Brig. and Brvt. Major General A.A. Humphreys, Chief of Engineers U.S.A. by Clarence King, U.S. Geologist in Charge, 1876. Julius Bien Lith.

William Henry Holmes' topographical drawings of the 1882 Grand Canyon were printed by Bien with extraordinary result in Dutton's Grand Canyon Atlas. A detail from the Panorama From Point Sublime is shown in the image below:

"Panorama From Point Sublime" 1882 - printed by Julius Bien, click on the image to pan or zoom

Bien published the cartographic output of the Wheeler Geographical Surveys West of the 100th Meridian, from 1871 to 1883. The maps are rich in cultural and historical detail from the period.  Below is the title page of the Topographical Atlas sheets.

The title page to the Topographical Atlas sheets of the Wheeler Geographical Surveys West of the 100th Meridian

Below is a selection of Bien's cartographic output from 1859 to 1904, as a slide-show - use the arrows to advance the slides; click on the little "i" to view the catalog record; click on "Go to Source" to see the slide-show full screen.

A slide-show of examples of Bien's cartographic printing in many different styles

Bien's last atlases were some of his finest - The Atlas of the Metropolitan District of New York, the massive Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, and The Statistical Atlas of the Twelfth Census.

Atlas of the Metropolitan District and adjacent country comprising the counties of New York, Kings, Richmond, Westchester and part of Queens in the state of New York, the county of Hudson and parts of the counties of Bergen, Passaic, Essex and Union in the state of New Jersey ... From original surveys by J.R. Bien and C.C. Vermeule, the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey and the Geological Survey of New Jersey. Published by Julius Bien & Co. New York. 1891. Atlas to accompany the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. Published under the direction of the Hons. Redfield Proctor, Stephen B. Elkins and Daniel S. Lamont, secretaries of war, by Maj. George B. Davis, U.S. Army, Mr. Leslie J. Perry, civilian expert, Mr. Joseph W. Kirkley, civilian expert, Board of Publication. Compiled by Capt. Calvin D. Cowles, 23d U.S. Infantry. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1891-1895. Statistical atlas of the United States, based upon results of the Eleventh Census (1890). By Henry Gannett. Washington: Government Printing Office. 1898. (At head of title:) Department of the Interior, Census Office. Robert P. Porter, Superintendent ... Carroll D. Wright, Commissioner of Labor in Charge ... (seal) Department of the Interior.


Bien engraved the plates for the U.S. Civil War Atlas titled "Military Maps Illustrating the Operations of the Armies Of The Potomac & James May 4th 1864 to April 9th 1865 including Battlefields of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Totopotomoy, Cold Harbor, The Siege Of Petersburg And Richmond Battle-fields of Five Forks." The view below shows details from six of those plates, click on the images to open them in a larger window that enables zooming and panning.  The close up details of the battle maps below show the extraordinary level of Bien's printing skill.

Details of six battle maps printed by Bien for the U.S. Civil War Atlas titled "Military Maps Illustrating the Operations of the Armies Of The Potomac & James..." click on the image to pan or zoom

By the time of Bien's death in 1909 his innovations in printing technology had been recognized by numerous awards and his election as the first president of the National Lithographers Association.  His prolific cartographic output during his lifetime included all the U.S. western surveys, the U.S. Census, the coast surveys, the Pacific Railroad Surveys, Civil War maps, and several atlases that he published himself. 

Cassini Terrestrial and Celestial Globes 1790 - 1792

Giovanni Maria Cassini was a noted geographer, engraver, and publisher in Rome. He was one of the last of the fine Italian globe makers active at the end of the 18th century. Cassini made Terrestrial and Celestial Globes in 1790 and 1792.  He also published the twelve terrestrial and twelve celestial globe gores that formed these globes in his atlas "Nuovo Atlante Geografico Universale" along with rules for the construction of globes and globe gores. 

The full title of the Terrestrial Globe is Globo terrestre / delineato sulle ultime osservazioni con i viaggi e nuove scoperte del Cap. Cook, inglese ; Gio. Ma. Cassini C.R.S. inc. Roma : Presso la Calcograf[i]a cam[era]le, 1790.  The globe shows contemporary discoveries in the Pacific as well as the routes of three of Captain James Cook's voyages.

Cassini's terrestrial globe gores were used to create a physical globe about 34cm in diameter.  In the virtual world, we have scanned the gores, georeferenced them and then projected and wrapped them on a three dimensional globe shown in the two images below - clicking on the globe image will open the globe in Google Earth (download app required) .  

The Cassini Globe Gores projected onto a virtual globe - click to open in Google Earth

The terrestrial globe gores are shown below in their original printed form on four sheets of three gores each. The images of the sheets were downloaded from the Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

The twelve Cassini Terrestrial Globe Gores on four sheets

The gores were then trimmed in Photoshop and georeferenced in ArcMap to the WGS 1984 coordinate system as shown in the image below.  This is the image that is used to create the virtual globe in Google Earth and ArcGlobe.  Clicking on the image will open it in Rumsey Google Maps, in a Mercator Projection.

The Cassini Globe Gores georeferenced and joined in a WGS 1984 coordinate system

Terrestrial and Celestial globes were often paired together so in 1792 Cassini made a companion Celestial Globe, showing the Heavens and all the known stars and constellations.  The Celestial Globe's full title is Globo Celeste calcolato peril corrente anno sulle osservazioni de Sigg. Flamsteed e de la Caille. Roma : Calc(ografi)a Cam(era)le, 1792. Inciso dal P. Gio. Ma. Cassini, C.R.S.  Like the terrestrial globe gores, the celestial gores were scanned and georeferenced and then placed on a virtual globe as shown below.  Click on the globe image below to open the globe in Google Earth (download app required).

The Cassini Celestial Globe of 1792, "Globo Celeste" - click to open in Google Earth

Since the Terrestrial and Celestial Globes were typically viewed side by side in their physical instantiations, we wanted to join them together in their virtual copies.  We were able to do this in Google Earth by turning the Cassini Celestial Globe inside out and placing it 64 million meters outside the Terrestrial Globe, as seen in the video below.  The same space can be viewed live in Google Earth  (download app required, turn off Atmosphere layer in Google Earth). 

The Cassini Terrestrial Globe surrounded by the Cassini Celestial Globe - seen as the "Heavens."

At the time we did the Cassini Globes project, the Rumsey Collection did not have copies of the Cassini globe gores.  The Celestial Globe gores as well as copies of the Terrestrial Globe gores were added to the Rumsey collection in 2007.  The Terrestrial gores are the same issue as the Library of Congress copies, but the coloring is different, as can be seen from the images below, in a slide-show from the Rumsey collection database, which includes the gores and the printed parts for the "ring sheet" of zodiacs and 2 polar calottes (caps).  Use the arrows to advance the slides; click on the little "i" to view the catalog record; click on "Go to Source" to see the slide-show full screen.

A slide-show of the Terrestrial and Celestial Globe Gores, Rumsey Collections copies

Taking the virtualization of the Cassini globes a step further, the Cassini Globes have been placed on the Rumsey Map Islands in the virtual world, Second Life.  As shown in the video below, David Rumsey's avatar, Map Darwin, explores the virtual globes which are over 100 meters in diameter and placed next to each other on the map islands, floating above an 1883 map of Yosemite Valley.

Map Darwin exploring the Cassini Globes on the Rumsey Map Islands in Second Life's virtual world

Finally, as shown in the video below, it is possible to combine the Cassini Terrestrial Globe with other GIS layers, including NASA's satellite image of the world at night, several satellite images of world topography and bathymetry, and other historical maps and globes.

The Cassini Globes combined with other GIS layers and seen in ArcGlobe

Perhaps Giovanni Maria Cassini would be intrigued to see his Terrestrial and Celestial Globes take on new life in the 21st century digital world, all firmly based on the great accuracy of his geographic knowledge and the high quality of his engraving skills.

Heights of Mountains, Lengths of Rivers

For over 100 years, atlas and map publishers in the United States and Europe published a style of map that was a visualization of the heights and lengths of the world's mountains and rivers.  Some of the earliest examples appeared in Europe towards the end of the 18th century.  In the United States, the form was popular throughout the 19th century and the early part of the 20th.  These maps appeared in atlases, as wall maps, and as pocket maps.  One of the most elegant examples was engraved originally on copper by map publisher Henry Tanner in Philadelphia in 1836 and then continued by S. Augustus Mitchell, also of Philadelphia, in lithographic versions into the 1850's.  The example below was published by Mitchell in 1846.

Heights Of The Principal Mountains In The World. Lengths Of The Principal Rivers In The World, S. Augustus Mitchell, 1846

The Mountains and Rivers maps appeared in several styles and formats.  One of the earliest styles was to show just mountains, piled up in a landscape, with a key of mountain heights on the left and right sides of the illustration.  Also listed on the side would be the highest flights of the Condor, limits of plants and trees, elevations of lakes, elevation of certain high altitude cites, and climate zones.  An early example in the Rumsey collection is Charles Smith's Comparative View of the Heights of the Principal Mountains &c. In The World, published in London in 1816:

Comparative View of the Heights of the Principal Mountains &c. In The World, Charles Smith, London, 1816

Eight examples in this style are shown below.  Each uses a different method to unpack the dense information contained in the maps:  a grid system, a numbering system, elevation lines and an outline chart. (click on images to enlarge)

A comparative view of the heights of the principal mountains and other elevations in the World. Drawn & engraved for Thomson's New general atlas by W. & D. Lizars, Edinburgh; Thomson, John; 1817.

Thomson's map uses a grid system to identify the locations on the left and right sides of the map.
Map And Description Of The Principal Mountains, &c. Throughout The World. Western Hemisphere. Eastern Hemisphere. Comparative Heights Of The Principal Mountains And Other Elevations In The World; Carey, H. C.; Lea, I.; 1822.

A numbering system is used on this map.  Carey and Lea copied the Thomson map on the left.
Comparative Height of the Principal Mountains and other Elevations in the World. J. Cone Sc. Published by F. Lucas Jr. Baltimore; Lucas, Fielding Jr.; 1823.

Lucas also copied the Thomson map above, but introduced a new system of an outline map and key.
Tableau comparatif des principales hauteurs du globe. D'apres A.M. Perrot; Perrot, A. M. (Aristide Michel), 1793-1879; Vandermaelen, Philippe, 1795-1869;  1827.

Vandermaelen used a combination of grid and numbering system in his map.
A comparative view of the heights of the principal mountains of Scotland. (with) View of the Grampian Mountains, being a specimen of the formation of that range; Thomson, John; McKenzie, D.; 1832.

Thomson used a grid system to identify the mountains of Scotland and an oblique view to show the Grampians.
Tableau comparatif de la forme et de la hauteur des principales montagnes du globe terrestre, dedie a Monsieur le Baron, Alexdre. de Humboldt;  Andriveau-Goujon, J.; Bruguiere, Louis;  1850.

Andriveau-Goujon used a system of elevation lines.
Geographical distribution of indigenous vegetation. The distribution of plants in a perpendicular direction in the torrid, temperate and frigid zones...; Henfrey, Arthur, 1819-1859; Johnston, Alexander Keith, 1804-1871; Schouw, Joakim Frederik, 1789-1852; 1854.

While this map shows the elevation of mountains, it focuses more on the distribution of plants at different elevations around the globe.
Cuadro general de alturas comparativas del Peru; Paz Soldan, Mariano Felipe, 1821-1886; 1865.

Paz Soldan used a numbering system to show the comparative elevations of the cities and mountains of Peru.


Another popular style combined heights of mountains and lengths of rivers in one view.  The rivers are stretched out in single lines, with the longest on the left combining with the shortest mountains, while the shortest rivers combine with the highest mountains on the right.  The visual result is very compelling. One of the earliest examples was W.R. Gardner's Comparative Heights of the Principal Mountains and Lengths of the Principal Rivers, published by William Darton in London in 1823:

New and Improved View of the Comparative Heights of the Principal Mountains and Lengths of the Principal Rivers In The World, Gardner, W.R., Darton, William, London, 1823

Three examples of this style are shown below. (click on images to enlarge).

A comparative view of the heights of the principal mountains and lengths of the principal rivers of the World; Fenner, Rest.; 1835.

Fenner hangs the rivers below the mountains in this map.
Mountains & Rivers; Colton, G.W; 1856.

The Colton firm published this map in their world atlas from 1856 to 1880 and perhaps later.  The mountains are keyed to a list on a separate page.

The map below is an unusual example that divides the mountains and rivers maps into five illustrations of the continents.

Johnson's Chart of Comparative Heights of Mountains, and Lengths of Rivers of Africa ... Asia ... Europe ...South America ... North America; Johnson, A.J.; 1874.

A third variation of the mountain and rivers designs was putting the mountains in the center of the view with the rivers extending downward on each side.  One of the earliest examples of this type was published by Henry Tanner in 1836, Heights of the Principal Mountains in the World.

Heights Of The Principal Mountains In The World, Tanner, Henry S., Philadelphia, 1836

John Dower and Henry Teasdale published another version in London in 1844 titled Principal Mountains and Rivers of the World.  It is possible that there was an earlier version of this London map that Tanner copied from - a common practice of American mapmakers in the first half of the 19th century - but Tanner's map is centered on information important to American readers and the Dower/Teasdale map is oriented to England and Europe.

A Comparative View of the Heights of the Principal Mountains and Lengths of the Principal Rivers in the World, Dower, John Nicaragua; Teesdale, Henry, London, 1844

Other examples of this style:

Heights Of The Principal Mountains In The World; Tanner, Henry S.; Philadelphia; 1845.

A later edition of Tanner's 1836 map with updates to the statics.
Heights Of The Principal Mountains In The World; Mitchell, Samuel Augustus; Philadelphia; 1846.

Mitchell acquired the rights to Tanner's atlas and published his own version of the 1845 Tanner map, with little change to the map itself, while transferring it to lithography and adding a decorative border.
A Comparative View Of The Principal Waterfalls, Islands, Lakes, Rivers and Mountains, In The Western Hemisphere; Martin, R.M.; Tallis, J. & F.; New York; 1851.

Tallis and Martin published this impressive pile up of mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and lakes.  The Western Hemisphere view.
A Comparative View Of The Principal Waterfalls, Islands, Lakes, Rivers and Mountains, In The Eastern Hemisphere; Martin, R.M.; Tallis, J. & F.; New York; 1851.

The Eastern Hemisphere view.
Western Hemisphere; Mitchell, Samuel Augustus; Philadelphia; 1880.

In Mitchell's version, he adds the hemisphere maps as well as the polar views - here the Western Hemisphere.
Eastern Hemisphere; Mitchell, Samuel Augustus; Philadelphia; 1880.

And here the Eastern Hemisphere, replacing the polar views with the greatest mass of land and greatest mass of water views.

Gray's new map of the World in hemispheres, with comparative views of the heights of the principal mountains and lengths of the principal rivers on the globe
, of 1885, provided a simplified view of the mountains and rivers.  It appeared in George N. Colby's Atlas of the State of Maine, 1885.

Gray's new map of the World in hemispheres, with comparative views of the heights of the principal mountains and lengths of the principal rivers on the globe, Gray, Frank Arnold, Houlton, Maine, 1885

The double hemisphere style continued to the end of the 19th century, as shown by Rand McNally's Western Hemisphere, Eastern Hemisphere, of 1897 from their Indexed Atlas of the World.

Rand, McNally & Company's indexed atlas of the world Western Hemisphere, Eastern Hemisphere, Rand McNally and Company, Chicago, 1897

There are other types of mountains and rivers maps that defy categories.  Many atlas publishers issued them in pairs, such as this mountains and rivers pages from Anthony Finley's General Atlas of 1831:

Table of the Comparative Heights of the Principal Mountains &c. in the World; Finley, Anthony, Philadelphia, 1831. Table of the Comparative Lengths of the Principal Rivers throughout the World; Finley, Anthony, Philadelphia, 1831.

And this pair from Antonio Garcia Cubas' beautiful Atlas Pintoresco, an illustrated atlas of Mexico published in 1885:

Carta Orografica. VI; Garcia Cubas, Antonio, 1832-1912; Mexico; 1885. Carta Hydrografica. VII; Garcia Cubas, Antonio, 1832-1912; Mexico; 1885.

School atlases often used schematic pairs of charts to indicate the heights of mountains and the lengths of rivers:

Comparative heights of mountains; Worcester, Joseph E.; Boston; 1826 Comparative lengths of rivers; Worcester, Joseph E.; Boston; 1826

And some examples show unique local interpretations such as Thomson's Comparative view of the lengths of the principal rivers of Scotland from 1822:

A comparative view of the lengths of the principal rivers of Scotland. (with) Comparative view of the height of the falls of Foyers and Corba Linn, Thomson, John; Lizars, William Home, Edinburgh, 1822

Or this example from Venezuela, Augutin Codazzi's Un cuadro de alturas que comprende las de las cordilleras de Merida... of 1840:

Un cuadro de alturas que comprende las de las cordilleras de Merida, de la costa de Caracas, Coro, Cumana y Margarita, y ultimamente las del sistema de la Parima. Otro cuadro comparativo de la superficie y poblacion de cada provincia. Otro de los principales rios que banan el territorio venezolano, ora procedentes de sus sistemas de montanas, ora de los Andes granadinos, o de la serrania de la Parima, Codazzi, Agustin, 1793-1859, Caracas, 1822

The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK) had a remarkable plate in their 1844 World Atlas of A map of the principal rivers shewing their courses, countries, and comparative lengths:

A map of the principal rivers shewing their courses, countries, and comparative lengths,  Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledg, London, 1844

The final map in this series is from one of the last decorative 19th century atlases, the Royal Illustrated Atlas by Fullarton, 1872, Comparative Views of the Heights of the Principal Mountains and Basins of the principal Rivers... It combines an unusual showing of the basins of the major world rivers with the principal mountains of the world which also show the major geographical distributions of plant regions of the globe by altitude, a Humboldt inspired convention.

Comparative Views of the Heights of the Principal Mountains and Basins of the principal Rivers on the Globe, 1872, Fullarton

The World in Hemispheres with Comparative Views of the Heights of the Principal Mountains and Basins of the principal Rivers on the Globe, Fullarton, A. & Co., London and Edinburgh, 1872

Below is a slide-show of  another 23 maps that use the mountains and rivers conventions in school atlas maps, profiles, physical maps, and general maps, followed by all 33 of the various mountain and rivers maps shown above.  Use the arrows to advance the slides; click on the little "i" to view the catalog record; click on "Go to Source" to see the slide-show full screen. To view the entire group in the LUNA Browser, click here

For more information on the subject of mountains and rivers maps, see the excellent post on BibliOdyssey as well as John Wolter's extensively researched article in the Quaterly Journal of the Library of Congress, The Heights of Mountains and the Lengths of Rivers.