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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 […]

Our Next Generation

Who are the next generation of cartographers? What draws them to this part science, part artistic expression, part design discipline? Many cartographers of the past and those working today often talk about an early love for maps and how something about their graphic form drew them to the field. Some of the most famous mapmakers, […]

“Full of Bogs and Poisonous Fruits”: Early Maps of Florida

Florida: home to sunshine, oranges, spring breakers, and snowbirds. Or, in the words of the 16th century Spanish explorer, Hernando de Soto: “full of bogs and poisonous fruits, barren, and the worst country that is warmed by the sun.” For over a hundred years, between Columbus’ initial contact in the Bahamas (1492) and the English […]

Computing Space 0: From Hypersurfaces to Algorithms: Saving Early Computer Cartography at the Library of Congress

Recently, the Geography and Map Division has undertaken a large scale project to collect manuscripts, technical information,  algorithms, software, and hardware from the earliest days of computer cartography. This project, which is being directed by the author, began as a series of lectures for graduate students that I gave at Johns Hopkins University on the […]