Blog topic: Maps

A portion of the article accompany the William Smith Map in Turun Sanomat newspaper

The William Smith Map in a Finnish Newspaper

December 2, 2015
by G. Salim Mohammed

In today's mail, the newspaper arrived. It wasn't the San Francisco Chronicle on the San Jose Mercury News though. It was a copy of the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, published in Turku, Finland. It wasn't until I turned to page 15 that I recognized something - a reproduction of the 1815 William Smith Map that we had scanned. William Smith published a map of Geology of what is now a good part of the UK, and earlier this year, we, along with the British Geological Society, celebrated 200 years since its publication. The map and article, all in Finnish of course, presumeably talks about the story of the man and how William Smith single-handedly authored and published this map. The newspaper used our scan both in the paper version and also in their online version. 

Ōmi Kuni-ezu 近江國絵圖 Japanese Tax Map, 1837

Adventures in oversized imaging: digitizing the Ōmi Kuni-ezu 近江國絵圖 Japanese Tax Map from 1837

November 17, 2015
by Deardra Fuzzell

By Deardra Fuzzell and Wayne Vanderkuil
A historic manuscript map and a gem of the Stanford Library Map Collection, the Ōmi Kuni-ezu 近江國絵圖 Japanese Tax Map from 1837 is hand drawn and painted in the round. This map is designed to be displayed on the floor with the viewer standing in its center. From this central vantage point, the map may be read with ease from any direction. As this display and viewing method is no longer possible for a map fast approaching its 200th birthday, Stanford has recently digitized this item to enable access for research, teaching and learning as well as preservation of the original object.

This the largest and most difficult oversized map Stanford has digitized thus far.
See how the Map Program went about imaging this unique item.

National Geospatial Advisory Committee holds fall meeting in West Virginia

September 19, 2015
by Julie Sweetkind-Singer

The National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) met outside Shepherdstown, West Virginia at the National Conservation Training Center on September 1-2, 2015.  The full report of the meeting including the Powerpoints from the subcommittees and lightning sessions are available on the NGAC Website.  The NGAC is a Federal Advisory Committee that reports to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC).  Our role is to provide advice and recommendations related to the national geospatial program and the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. 

National Geospatial Advisory Committee meets in Washington

June 19, 2015
by Julie Sweetkind-Singer

The National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) met in Washington, DC on June 9-10, 2015.  The full report of the meeting including the powerpoints from the subcommittees and lightning sessions are available on the NGAC Website.  The NGAC is a Federal Advisory Committee that reports to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC).  Our role is to provide advice and recommendations related to the national geospatial program and the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure.

Subtractive Map Symbology

June 2, 2015
by David Medeiros

Sometimes the very data we map can get in the way of our understanding the phenomena we are visualizing.

In the case of bird sightings for the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, the typical approach to adding points over a map might have shown us where in time and space the birds were while on their annual migration, but the result would have also obscured the terrain over which they fly.

The Pacific Theater of War: World War II

May 28, 2015
by Julie Sweetkind-Singer

Maps of war take many forms from those showing battlefronts to the layout of trenches, from details of terrain to focusing on the forts that protect a harbor.  One category of war map is designed to inform the people at home or soldiers as to what is or has happened during a campaign.  This week we feature three maps from the Branner Library collection that focus on World War II and the battles in the Pacific.  This exhibit is part of the Branner 100th Anniversary celebration and will be on display May 28 - June 4, 2015 at the Branner Earth Sciences Library and Map Collections.

Between 1942 and 1946 the U.S. Army Information Branch issued weekly broadsheets called Newsmap that were targeted specifically for American military personnel to keep up on the progress of the war.  The broadsheets are large, measuring 3 feet by 4 feet and are printed on both sides.  They include maps, photographs, news, and the progress on each front.  224 Newsmaps were printed and Branner Library holds about 50 of them.  You may read more about these maps in a blog post written by Mike DiCianna, a student at Oregon State University.  The University of North Texas has scanned 212 of the maps and you may view them here.  The map on display is from October 13, 1943 and includes a map of Europe for context and the world colored according to military alliances.  At the bottom left three pictures show a time lapse of the bombing of a few flats in a river. 

 

A Cropped Part of Rebecca Solnit's Monarchs and Queens Map 2010

Maps from Rebecca Solnit’s Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas

May 24, 2015
by G. Salim Mohammed

This exhibit will be on display May 22-28, 2015 at the Branner Earth Sciences Library and Map Collections.

Rebecca Solnit, a former visiting fellow at the Bill Lane Center for the American West and Stanford University Libraries where she focused on Glen McLaughin’s collection of Maps of California as an Island, is a writer, historian and activist based in the Bay Area. She has authored fifteen books, including Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas (2010).

Exhibit of Pictorial Maps at Branner Library

May 1, 2015

Before the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, the map collection at Branner Library consisted mostly of geologic and topographic maps.  Stanford's "Central Map Collection," which had resided in the badly-damaged west wing of Green Library, was subsequently transferred to Branner.

Among the many thematic maps acquired after that time were a number of fanciful "pictorial maps," some of the most interesting being from the 1930's.

For example, there is a 1937 Dole Pineapple map of the Hawaiian Islands, with pictures of boats, fish, cattle, surfers, wildlife, palm trees and airplanes.  The top margin displays distinctive Hawaiian flowers, and the bottom margin shows fish.  The Hawaiian Pineapple Co., Ltd., prepared and distributed this map, presumably to attract visitors.

The Dole Map of the Hawaiian Islands, U.S.A.  Found at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/8514913

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