JANUARY 22, 2011 MEETING
CMS WINTER MEETING PROGRAM
WILLIAM ANDREWS CLARK LIBRARY, UCLA
SATURDAY, JANUARY 22, 2011
08:30 Registration and morning refreshments
09:00 Welcome Phil Simon, President CMS, Juan Ceva, Vice President, Southern California CMS and Nina Schneider, Acting Head Librarian of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.
09:20-10:05 "The Serendipitous Journey Toward ‘Los Angeles in Maps’ and Some Stories and Map Folks I Met Along the Way" by Glen Creason. The map librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library and co-curator of the landmark exhibition ‘L.A. Unfolded: Maps from the Los Angeles Public Library’, will discuss his recent work “Los Angeles in Maps”. Creason has written about local history, maps and popular culture in numerous publications. He is a native Angeleno, born and raised in South Gate.
10:05-10:50 "Using Martian Maps to Land on Mars" by Michael Watkins, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission Manager, Mike Watkins, will discuss how JPL goes about selecting a landing site on Mars for the next super Mars Rover (MSL). The landing site selection is the arduous work of engineers and scientist using the best cartography available of the Mars surface to find a balance between mission engineering risks and landing-site scientific interests.
10:50–11:05 Morning break and refreshments
11:05-11:50 “A Neogeographical Approach to Aerial Imaging” by Stewart Long, GonzoEarth Aerial Imaging Services (gonzoearth.com). Aerial mapmaker, Stewart Long, will discuss grassrootsmapping.org and the volunteer-led citizen approach to documenting the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The neogeographic approach to aerial imaging involves inexpensive tools that are available to everyone and that empower citizens to collect information in more than a symbolic manner. The crowd-sourced field mapping techniques produce and interpret information that was once the sole domain of government and industry.
1:00-1:45 “Changing Boundaries: A Collection of Maps Showing the Evolution of the US-Mexico Frontier” by Simon Burrow, a graduate of CSULA and a retired serial entrepreneur. Soon after opening his first factory in Mexico in 1985 he started collecting maps of the border region. By the time he retired in 2003 he had over 80 maps that tell the story of why the border is where it is. In his talk he will examine details of a half dozen of the maps and share some border stories about them. The Changing Boundaries Exhibit will be at CSULA during February 2011.
1:45–2:00 Afternoon break and refreshments
2:00–2:30 “Map Dealers and Collectors in the 21st Century, an Open Discussion”. Famed map dealer Barry Ruderman of Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc., whose internet gallery launched in 1996, will give his impressions and entertain questions about how map dealership and collecting has changed with the internet. He will also discuss the concept of digital philanthropy.
2:30–3:30 Members’ Favorite Cartographic Items. CMS members are encouraged to bring their favorite cartographical items and give a short overview of them. Please contact Juan Ceva to let him know you would like to participate.
3:30-4:00 General Membership Meeting (open to all our members).
4:00-5:00 Directors’ Meeting (Interested members are encouraged to stay and participate).
President Phil Simon called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM and introduced those new members in attendance. Juan Ceva, Vice President for Southern California added his greetings and introduced Nina Schneider, Acting Head Librarian at the Clark who noted that the Clark was the oldest Special Collections library at UCLA. Built in 1924 in the style of Hampton Court, the library was completed in two years, opening in 1926. William Andrews Clark Jr. was the owner and is well known locally as the founder of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. He donated the library and its grounds to UCLA shortly after its completion. The interior has been maintained as it was received, a magnificent venue for our meeting. A fine selection of the library’s books and maps was specially arranged for our meeting.
Glen Creason, Map Librarian for the Los Angeles Public Libraries, was our first speaker. His recently released book Los Angeles in Maps contains some of the maps he showed in his presentation, “The Serendipitous Journey towards ‘Los Angeles in Maps’ and Some Stories and Map Folks I Have Met Along the Way.” Some of the other maps shown illustrated history that would not fit into the book but were of special interest. Naturally he included Ord’s map and Hancock’s expansion, the Title Insurance Rancho map and birds-eye views of dusty early Los Angeles. He noted that by 1853 Los Angeles had a population of 5000, a murder a day, and 110 saloons. Maps of Lover’s Lane, the Zanja routes and Fred Eaton’s proposed sewer lines brought us to the establishment of Echo Park as the first City reservoir, purchased for $1 per acre. H. P. Elliott’s 1871 city map showed the Temperance Temple sited next to the City Hall, which Glen noted “had no noticeable effect on government.” The 1909 Birds-Eye View Co. map evoked gasps from the audience as close-ups showed every building labeled. The 1913 Marsh Lewis 3-D map made clear the southward march of the growing high-rise city. Glen’s easy style and offhand witticisms charmed the audience as did his impressive knowledge of the growth of Los Angeles.
Our next speaker, Michael Watkins, NASA JPL Mars Science Lab Mission Manager, demonstrated how scientists and engineers apply the best cartography available to locate the right landing site on Mars for the 2013 super Rover exploration. His detailed photos of the Rover moving slowly over the surface of Mars illustrate the difficult balance that scientists and engineers must strike between mission engineering risks and landing site scientific interests. The super rover, “Curiosity,” named by a schoolgirl, will far surpass previous rovers in size and complexity, with an onboard chemical laboratory to analyze Mars’ surface and transmit data. Its expected range is up to 20 Kms to explore geologic features. Once Curiosity lands on the chosen site, the observation of it at JPL will occur on a shift-like schedule. (The Mars day is minutes shorter than Earth’s.) Live web-cams will give observers guidance for movements of the rover to be executed hours later due to the time required for programming and transmission. Stereo cameras will also allow the construction of three dimensional maps of the Martian surface. Mike explained that when we visit the JPL.NASA.gov/Mars rover website in 2013 we will be able to follow the progress of Curiosity and perhaps see this rover flash the card noting the California Map Society as a part of this exploration to our nearest neighbor in outer space. Our audience seemed awe-struck as Mike helped us to envision the future of cartography. As Mike concluded his talk, we noted the small street map on the front page of our newsletter, our guidance system to the Clark Library.
After a break, Stewart Long of GonzoEarth Aerial Imaging Surfaces presented “A Neogeographical Approach to Aerial Mapping.” Ever wish you could have a high resolution image of your house or neighborhood with higher resolution than Google Earth or Zillow.com? Stuart has the relatively inexpensive solution to do just that. Using a kite or balloon and an inexpensive digital camera you too can become an expert geo-mapper. Such people carefully photo-mapped the extent of the recent Gulf oil-spill, offering an unbiased assessment of damages. Aside from the gee-whiz environmental frenzy, this method offers a simple relatively stable platform for many purposes. How many people actually watched the Rose Parade in person? Drag a balloon mounted camera down the parade route or better yet allow one pass of a low flying camera plane (a B-2 Stealth Bomber?) to obtain an accurate count, perhaps deflating the “million viewer” claims of many years standing. Photo knitting programs exist to do this. For further information see www.grassrootsmapping.org. Stewart brought a home-made camera mount and deflated 6 foot diameter balloon along with a power drill operated spool for retrieval of the tethered balloon. You too can easily become the Thaddeus Lowe of your neighborhood, perhaps even observing your hot-tubbing neighbors up close and personal. Box lunches were enjoyed under the shade of the spreading trees on the lawn of the Clark Library. This gave members a chance to renew acquaintances, chat with speakers and meet new friends in a delightfully relaxed environment.
Our first afternoon speaker was new member Simon Burrow who opined on “Changing Boundaries: A Collection of Maps Showing the Evolution of the US-Mexican Frontier.” Simon’s first map was one of languages, showing that Athabascan speaking natives from the Canadian Region may have been driven south in prehistoric times to drive out the Anasazzi speaking peoples of the Southwest US, a precursor to similar later migrations. The current border with Mexico may have been triggered by an early attempt to delineate the regions of influence of Franciscan friars from those of their Dominican bothers. Such artificial borders have existed for centuries. Texas, originally a separate country, may have become so because of Mexican restrictions on immigration by US citizens. Then, Texan threats to align with the UK may have forced the US Congress to compromise, admitting Texas as a state of the Union. The Gadsden Purchase may have been triggered by Southern railway supporters seeking an easy route, but also by the very corrupt government of Santa Anna which needed money to keep from being overthrown by rivals in the Mexican army. Politically drawn borders are often artificial and may actually be ignored when commerce dictates such action. Now, 1500 trucks of produce cross into the US from Mexico at Nogales, Arizona every day. Simon’s border map exhibit will be on exhibit at CSULA through February 2011.
Next, Barry Lawrence Ruderman spoke about “Map Dealers and Collectors in the 21st Century, an Open Discussion.” He noted that 20 years ago when he was becoming a serious dealer there were 5 map dealers in the relatively small town of Santa Fe, NM. Today there are none, illustrating the changing nature of the map industry in general. The market has been compressed by the Internet and digitization has made map sales possible worldwide. At the same time, fewer knowledgeable sellers have caused buyers to be more cautious. Reputable dealers have prospered by sales from far flung customers they could not have reached except through the Internet. Ex-pats and those posted to foreign places are often customers for maps of nostalgic places or of their isolated locations. On-line auctions have worked to the benefit of collectors by publicly setting prices. Dealers can no longer create artificial rarity when multiple copies are available from different sources on-line and prices are based on reality. High quality digital reproductions are increasingly available so customers are warned to be cautious in Internet dealings. As always, the best prevention from disappointment is in knowing with whom you are doing business. Fewer map dealers will have brick and mortar shops as time goes forward. In closing he defined a map dealer’s inventory as “a lifetime of failures.”
David Kalifon and several other members brought maps to share during Member’s Memorable Maps. A business meeting followed where it was announced that the next meeting would be at the Mare Island Historical Museum in Vallejo, CA on Saturday, June 18th, 2011. Susan Caughey, Treasurer, presented information pointing out that the Society is solvent. Pat Boyce, Secretary, reported membership of 170 with several new members coming from the website. Meeting adjourned approximately 4:00 PM.