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Name Your Poison: Glyphic Designs on Maya Miniature Flasks in the Jay I. Kislak Collection

Today’s guest post was written by Graham Atkinson, a Research Volunteer in the Geography and Map Division, who works with the Pre-Columbian objects in the Jay I. Kislak Collections. He received his doctorate in mathematics from Oxford University, and has spent most of his career applying mathematical and statistical techniques to health care. Graham also […]

Book Talk: “American Geography and Geographers: Toward Geographic Science”

Please join us for a book talk with Dr. Geoffrey Martin, a leading historian of American geography, who will discuss his latest work, On the History of the Book — American Geography and Geographers: Toward Geographical Science  (Oxford, 2015). In addition to Dr. Martin’s presentation, the Geography and Map Division will provide a small exhibit featuring rare […]

Book Talk: “Mapping the West with Lewis and Clark”

Please join us for a book talk featuring the Chief of the Geography and Map Division, Ralph Ehrenberg, and Smithsonian Institution curator emeritus Herman J. Viola as they discuss their latest work, “Mapping the West with Lewis and Clark” (Levenger, 2015). The authors will present and sign copies of their book on Tuesday, January 19, […]

Charting the Gulf Stream

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) noticed something odd as Deputy Postmaster General for the American colonies in London: mail took much longer travelling west across the Atlantic than it did travelling east. Several weeks longer, in fact. In a 1746 letter, Franklin ascribes this anomaly to an effect of the Earth’s rotation, making an eastward journey faster […]

Computing Space III: Papers of the “Father of GIS” Come to the Library of Congress

Today’s post is the third of a series called,”Computing Space,” which will highlight the lives and work of many of the mostly unknown cartographers, geographers, mathematicians, computer scientists, designers and architects who had a hand in the birth of today’s computer cartography.  ’Amateur’ field geographers can speak with authority about the clarifying effects on the […]

Computing Space II: Taking Waldo Tobler’s Geography 482

Today’s post is the second in a continuing series called,”Computing Space,” which will highlight the lives and work of many of the mostly unknown cartographers, geographers, mathematicians, computer scientists, designers and architects who had a hand in the birth of today’s computer cartography. When working with the archives and personal papers of the pioneers of […]

Computing Space I: Ernesto and Kathy Split a Sandwich

This post is dedicated to the memory of  Katherine Kiernan, one of the only female programmers at the Harvard Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis, during the early years of the development of Geographical Information Systems. She passed away last year. Today’s post is the beginning of a series called,”Computing Space,” which will highlight […]

The Changing Mexico-U.S. Border

Stretching nearly 2,000 miles from the Pacific Coast to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mexico-U.S. border is the world’s single most crossed international boundary. With over a billion dollars worth of goods moving between the countries every day and 11 million people living within the border region, the history of the Mexico-U.S. boundary line is worth […]

Putting Boston on the Map: Land Reclamation and the Growth of a City

Today’s guest post is from Tim St. Onge, a cartographer in the Geography and Map Division. Tim holds an undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Mary Washington and a Master’s degree in Geographic Information Science from Clark University. The Back Bay neighborhood of Boston is home to some of the city’s most famous […]

In Maudslay’s Shadow: Imaging Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica

The Library of Congress’ Geography and Map Division is home to a large collection of Pre-Columbian archaeological artifacts donated by the collector Jay I. Kislak, many of which are on display as part of the Exploring the Early Americas Exhibit in the Thomas Jefferson Building here in Washington, DC. The artifacts that make up the […]