GeoCarta Has Moved

Jan 17, 2007

Cartographers Focused on Then and Now

Historical Cartography
Many of us admire ancient maps. Joseph G. Garver, a reference librarian in the Harvard Map Collection of the Harvard University Library admires them as well. Only he doesn't just admire them, he has actually used them. Since 1990, he has followed maps from Australia to Hong Kong and into southwestern China.

Eschewing modern maps, Mr. Garver instead relied on maps such as a 1909 map drawn by explorer Major H.R. Davis that showed mule tracks, wooden suspension bridges and local inns. He has also followed old maps and journals to Thailand, Singapore, across India to Switzerland and Scotland's Isle of Skye. "I have always been fascinated by maps," Mr. Garver told the Newton TAB, Mr. Garver will deliver a presentation on his work as a cartographic historian tomorrow (Thursday) at the Newton Free Library, in Newton, Massachusetts, at 7:30 p.m. His presentation will feature images of 35 rare maps from his new book "Surveying the Shore: Historic Maps of Coastal Massachusetts, 1600-1930."

Mr. Garver spent two years researching and writing his book utilizing collections from Harvard, as well as sources throughout Massachusetts. Several of the images are of rarely exhibited one-of-a-kind maps. Mr. Garver said his presentation and book are not aimed at collectors or specialists but ordinary people who want to appreciate the fascinating role maps played throughout New England history.

If you can't make it to Newton tomorrow, Mr. Garver's book is available online.

Cartography as a Career
If you've dreamed of leaving the 9-5 behind and setting off on your own as a map-maker, The Northwest Herald has a story of what a job like that is like. The paper profiles Tom Wilcockson and his one-man company Mapcraft.

Also covered in The Map Room.

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