MAY 12, 2012 MEETING
JUMP TO MEETING NOTES
CALIFORNIA MAP SOCIETY MEETING
at the UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
WESTERN REGION HEADQUARTERS, MENLO PARK
SATURDAY MAY 12, 2012
08:00 Registration and morning refreshments
08:30 Welcome, Fred DeJarlais, President of CMS, and Leonard Rothman, CMS Vice President, Northern California. Ms. Leslie C. Gordon, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey will provide welcome and further remarks for the attendees.
08:30 – 09:15 “HOW MAPS WIN WARS” - Fred DeJarlais, CMS President, a retired urban planner in private industry and for the Mission Bay Project in San Francisco, and Tom Conrad, CMS member, an independent city planner and former member of the Walnut Creek Planning Commission, will discuss and illustrate the importance of mapping, surveying and target detection during World War I.
09:15 – 10:30 “THE USE OF GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (GIS) TO PRODUCE COASTAL MAP PRODUCTS FOR THE PUBLIC” - Jonathan Van Coops, CMS member and Mapping/GIS Program Manager for the California Coastal Commission (CCC). He is also co-project cartographer for the CCC public guidebook series. He will showcase examples from the recently completed four volume regional coastal guide book series.
10:30-10-45 Morning break and refreshments
10:45-11:30 “THE ILLICIT SIDE OF MAP COLLECTING - Thefts and Forgeries" - Curt and Marti Griggs, CMS members and co-partners in “OLD MAPS LLC,” specialize in publishing antique map price records and map evaluations. They previously owned and operated the internet based “Old World Auctions”, and are recognized experts in antique map authentication, history and fair value.
11:30 – 12:30 Lunch (no host) at the USGS Café and time to visit the USGS store which is run by the California Geological Survey and sells both USGS and CGS publications.
12:30 - 1:00 General Membership Meeting (open to everyone)
Fred DeJarlais, President California Map Society
“CHARTING THE ROUTE AHEAD”
01:00 – 01:45 “THE DISCOVERY OF THE NEW WORLD THROUGH MAPS” - Wesley Brown, CMS member, a co-founder of St. Charles Capital, the Rocky Mountain Map Society, former President of the Denver Library Commission and advisor to the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division. He will present an investigation of the evolving conception of the shape of the earth from Homer (800 BCE) to Sebastian Munster (mid 16th century) with illustrations. Mr. Brown has graciously provided his paper that is a basis for this presentation for members' access here on our website.
01:45 – 02:00 Afternoon break and refreshments
02:00 - 02:45 “CELESTIAL FRONTISPIECES AND ILLUSTRATED TITLE PAGES: (their beauty, variety and significance) - Nick Kanas, CMS member. Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF and a NASA-funded principal investigator, doing psychological research with astronauts and cosmonauts. Nick is publishing the 2nd edition of his book “Star Maps: History, Artistry and Cartography” later this year, to include this new and unusual category, which he will present with illustrations.
02:45 – 03:30 USGS's FAVORITE CARTOGRAPHIC ITEMS - Ms. Leslie Gordon of the USGS will present exemplars from their old and odd globe collection and lead a tour of the USGS Library Map Room.
03:30 – 04:00 Directors’ Meeting
The meeting was called to order by President Fred DeJarlais at 9:00 AM whose first order of business was to award Life Membership to VP Leonard Rothman. We were then welcomed by Leslie Gordon, Public Affairs Specialist of USGS Menlo Park where the meeting was being held. VP Leonard Rothman then introduced the first speaker, Fred DeJarlais.
Fred’s talk was titled “How Maps Win Wars.” His first map was the famous one of Napoleon's march into and then retreat from Russia, the thickness of the columns showing the devastating losses the French forces took in that ill fated invasion. Fred pointed out that the various forces aligned for World War I had different mapping capabilities. The French had good basic maps, but poor details. The Belgium’s had very good maps of their own territory as did the British and Germans of their respective territories. But accurate artillery required accurate maps to fire guns such as the Paris gun with a range of 80 miles. And these guns could only fire 10 – 12 rounds before a new barrel was required. The advent of aerial photography allowed much more accurate aiming of artillery. Almost 75% of the casualties on both sides in World War I were caused by artillery fire. The two greatest developments of war during this period may have been the airplane and the submarine.
The next speaker was CMS member Jonathan Van Coops. He discussed “The Use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to produce Coastal Map Products for the Public.” Jonathan is Mapping/GIS Program Manager for the California Coastal Commission and has 35 years experience in mapping. The disastrous oil spill of 1969 created the impetus for the formation of the Coastal Commission in 1972. In advancing their mission - the protection of our coastline - the Commission has produced four outstanding coastal guide books, covering four regions. Jonathan showed examples of the beautiful artwork and photography from these guides which provide detailed information on access to and sights to be found along our amazing coast. Jonathan was heavily involved in producing these beautiful guidebooks each of which is available from the UC Press.
After a morning break we heard from our next speaker, Curt Griggs. Curt and Marti Griggs are partners in Old Maps LLC, now specializing in publishing antique map price records and in map evaluating. Curt’s talk was “Antique Map Thievery, Why, When, Where, and How.” He outlined the several printing processes used before the early 1900’s when lithography became the method of choice. For relief or intaglio printed maps plate lines or lack of same can be dead giveaways of forgeries. Under glass it is almost impossible to detect forgeries. Curt suggested feeling for the plateline and noting its relationship to the neatline. Is it too close or too far away? Look for paper flaws which should also be able to be felt. And any screen print would indicate a reproduction. Size differences are unreliable; up to 3% linear variations can be attributed to paper shrinkage. Theft used to be easy because there was a code of secrecy among dealers and libraries but today that pretty much no longer exists. Cooperation and full disclosure of thefts makes it very difficult to dispose of stolen maps. Descriptions of missing maps with digital photos are quickly circulated, typically via the Internet, making the chances of being caught quite good.
Lunch was followed by a General Membership meeting. Treasurer Susan Caughey reported the Society as well funded. Secretary Pat Boyce reported a membership of 185, at or near a record number with our website being well used.
Our first speaker after lunch was CMS member Wes Brown who gave a presentation using images of maps from his collection to describe the story of the evolution of man's conception of the earth, beginning with Homer in the 8th century BCE and working through the European renaissance. Brown described the Greek and Roman conception of the earth followed by that of the Christians up to about 1500. The discovery by Europeans of Claudius Ptolemy's (90 to 168 CE) writings and maps and their circulation in the 15th century heavily impacted geographic thinking. Brown next went through key maps of the discovery of the new world, concluding with the map Novus Orbis by Sebastian Muster in 1540. The key points which Brown underscored were that the Earth was generally thought to be a sphere before Columbus sailed and that it took about 50 years following Columbus's initial voyage just to map the concept of a connected north and south America bounded by an Atlantic and Pacific ocean. Mr. Brown has graciously provided his paper that is a basis for this presentation for members' access here on our website.
The final afternoon speaker was CMS member Nick Kanas who gave a Power-point presentation entitled “The Beauty, Variety and Significance of Celestial Atlas Frontispieces,” which he amply illustrated with some beautiful examples from his collection. He reminded us that in the past frontispieces were intended to not only orient the reader to the text that followed, but also to stimulate him or her to buy the book by becoming engaged in the mystery of astronomy and identifying with an intellectual elite. Based on his survey of celestial books and prints going back to the late 1400s, he organized his comments into four categories: printer’s marks; images with allegorical content from classical mythology and important astronomers from antiquity; engravings depicting instruments and people contemporary with the time the book was published; and diagrams and schematics that served as an illustration for the text. This grouping also applies to general atlases, and he showed examples of these as well. His presentation was based on one of the new sections in the 2nd edition of his book: Star Maps: History, Artistry and Cartography, which will be out this summer.