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Exploring County Land Ownership Maps

The following post is adapted from an essay written by Richard W. Stephenson, former Specialist in American Cartographic History at the Library of Congress, in “Land Ownership Maps: A Checklist of Nineteenth Century Unites States County Maps in the Library of Congress.” The essay has been edited and updated by Ed Redmond, a cartographic reference […]

The First Isothermic World Maps

Called the “father of temperature mapping,” the renowned German naturalist and climatologist, Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) devised the concept of the isotherm, which he described in 1816 as a “curve drawn through points on a globe which receive an equal quantity of heat.” Humboldt’s initial diagram map of average temperatures appeared in 1817 in an […]

From Minor Village to World Metropolis: Karachi in Maps

The former capital of Pakistan, Karachi is the most populous city in the country and the third most populous in the world. Before it was Karachi, the place was called Kolachi, a small village on the Arabian Sea. Kolachi was the surname of the founding fisher-woman, Lady Kolachi, according to local lore. The transformation from […]

From Colony to Independence: Mid-19th Century Maps of Liberia

Last month, the West African nation of Liberia marked 170 years of independence. The country has a unique and complex history, with a pivotal era of its founding as a colony captured in maps. The Geography and Map Division preserves a collection of twenty maps of Liberia produced in the mid-19th century, covering several decades […]

Cartography through Exploration: Lady Anne Blunt in Northern Arabia

In honor of Women’s History Month this March, Worlds Revealed is featuring weekly posts about the history of women in geography and cartography. You can click on the “Women’s History Month” category see all related posts. Many of the greatest maps in cartographic history have been borne out of expeditions and adventures into regions not […]