CMS MEETING, JUNE 23, 2007
CHABOT CENTER, OAKLAND, CA
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|8:30 - 9:00
||Coffee and registration
|9:00 - 9:15
||Welcome, Tom Worth, President, California Map Society and Phil Simon, Vice President for Northern California.
|9:15 - 10:00
||Keynote Address by Nick Kanas, M.D. Nick is a noted collector of celestial maps and charts and the author of a new book on the subject. He will be speaking on celestial cartography.
|10:00 - 10:45
||apt. Al Cirino is a retired United Airlines Captain who earlier, as a USAF pilot, was one of the few pilots of the famous SR-71 Blackbird which attained speeds over Mach 3 and altitudes over 80,000 feet. In those pre-GPS days they used a "Star Tracker" device to navigate, which he will explain, hopefully in words we can understand.
|10:45 - 11:00
|11:00 - 11:45
||Tom Kewin and Ross Butler both flew on the romantic Pan American Clippers in the late 1930s and 1940s, Tom as a Flight Engineer, Ross as a Navigator.. Flying those 16 hour flights to Hawaii and finding those tiny islands using only the sun and stars was routine, if sometimes scary.
|11:45 - 1:30
||Lunch and viewing some of the exhibits at the Chabot.
|1:30 - 1:45
||CMS Business meeting
|1:45 - 2:30
||Tom Harrison of Tom Harrison Maps will talk with us about the commercial production of topographical maps. His company produces a highly successful line of waterproof topo maps. He'll describe field work, research, cartography and printing of such maps.
|2:30 - 3:15
||Leonard Rothman, M.D. will delve deeply into one of his cartographic passions-the collection of maps on neckties. His collection puts most of us to shame; he has over 200 such ties! He'll dig out some celestials to show us.
|3:15 - 3:30
|3:30 - 4:15
||Phil Simon, VP, Northern California, will use state of the art PowerPoint to describe his splendid collection of puzzle maps, ranging from French and English atlases on wooden cubes to a Japanese puzzle map made of rubber erasers.
||Retire to the Chabot Planetarium for a special star show.
The meeting was called together at 9:00 AM by President Tom Worth who introduced Janelle Lewis of the Chabot Space and Science Center. She welcomed the 46 attendees and explained the purposes of the Center and briefly went over our schedule. The meeting was then turned over to VP Phil Simon, who had organized the program.
The first speaker was Dr. Nick Kanas whose talk was titled "Mapping the Heavens: The Golden Age (1600-1800)". The first star maps followed two patterns: Cosmological diagrams of the Solar System and Universe, and Constellation Maps. Hipparcus (ca. 190-120BC) made the first known star catalog with 850 stars. Ptolemy (ca. 100-178 AD) summarized Greek mathematical astronomy. Both used geocentric models. Hipparcus described the shorter half year including February through the use of eccentric circles and epicycles. With earth displaced from the center this approach could mathematically predict movements in the heavens. Ptolemy's work, including some star names, was preserved by Muslim astronomers and translated into Arabic where other stars were named. Later Byzantine scholars would translate the original Greek texts into Latin, bypassing the Arabic texts. In the Middle Ages, star charts were drawn on vellum or parchment but the constellation images were not accurate star maps. The advent of printing in the 1450's allowed wider distribution. Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) made his first celestial chart in 1515 using external orientation. That is, the constellations were reversed for an observer on the earth's surface. Allesandro Piccolomini (1508-1578) first printed a star atlas in 1540. This showed fairly accurate patterns and showed magnitudes by different image sizes. The Big Four would include Johann Bayer (1572-1625) who published Uranomatria in 1603. This included stars from the southern hemisphere for the first time. Julius Schiller (d.1627) printed a star atlas with external orientation but with the images transformed into Christian constellations. Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687), a Polish brewer, published two important works. Selenographia (1647) was the first lunar atlas. Features were named for similar images or scientists and politicians here on earth. Uranograhpia (1687) added eleven new constellations. John Flamsteed (1646-1719) was the first British Astronomer Royal whose Atlas Coelestis was published posthumously in 1729. This located stars using equatorial and ecliptic coordinates. Jean Fortin (1750-1831) published a smaller second edition of Flamsteed's work and included Lacalle's southern constellations. Johann Bode (1747-1826) was Director of the Berlin Observatory and published Uranographia in 1801 including a catalog of some 17,000 stars. Perhaps the handsomest and best known atlas of constellations was published by Andreas Cellarius (1596-1665). Nick showed illustrations from a number of these star charts and atlases.
Moving us at the speed of sound from 1665 to the 1960s, was our next speaker, U.S. Air Force Captain, retired, Al Cirino, who earlier had piloted an SR71 Blackbird reconnaissance plane. This aircraft, developed to replace the much slower U2, was delivered to the Air Force in 1966, designed to photograph and gather intelligence, primarily about the Soviet Union. It flew at Mach 3 and altitudes of 80,000 feet. The twin engines developed 69,000 HP each, propelling the aircraft faster than a 30.06 rifle bullet. A single pilot with a navigator sitting behind him flew this 104 foot long by 55 feet wide aircraft. It was made almost entirely of titanium, ironically a material available only in the Soviet Union . The plane would photograph a swath of land as it flew over it. The photo quality was good enough to allow a license plate to be read from 80,000 feet. All SR71s were based at Beale Air Force Base in California and could be refueled in the air to reach their target areas. No SR71 was ever intercepted by Soviet aircraft or missiles. All airmen were young men who flew encased in complex cooled suits because the skin temperature of the aircraft would reach extremes. The wings had to be built with expansion joints because of this as well. Navigation was always laid out prior to the flight and computerized to allow check points to be read and courses corrected. This was much too complex for normal navigation techniques, so if a computer failed, the mission was aborted and the plane returned to Beale with escorts as it slowed down.
The next two speakers again turned the clock, sixty years this time, when Tom Kewin was a pilot, and Ross Butler, a navigator, for Pan American Airways' flying boats, the Clippers. Butler was introduced as having grown up in South Dakota where transportation was by horse and buggy, now living in the Space Age, a remarkable technological span. Kewin explained that in the summer of 1941 the Clipper captains, whose routes were the Pacific,were each provided with an envelope to be opened only in the event of a Japanese attack, which then seemed possible. When the attack came the instructions were to cut off radio transmission, and to get PanAm personnel and the aircraft home as quickly as possible. The Anzac Clipper by luck was an hour out of Honolulu and an hour late when the attack of Pearl Harbor occurred. The pilot turned and landed at Hilo. (The plane was late because the captain wanted to attend his daughter's piano recital.) The Philippine Clipper was on its way to Wake and then Guam. It took off from Wake Island[heading to Midway which they found already attacked by the Japanese. Although the island was in flames, they managed to get the crew on board and get to Honolulu, then San Francisco. The Hong Kong Clipper was destroyed at its dock in Hong Kong by Japanese aerial attacks. The Australia-New Zealand Clipper also had to divert, flying to South America searching for aviation grade fuel and shaking from using auto fuel instead until some could be located. Three weeks and 31,000 miles later it ended up unexpectedly at La Guardia in New York . Ross Butler discussed navigation of these aircraft. Each had an observation bubble where they could shoot the sun and stars. They therefore used the same technique mariners have used forever, deviating in one direction from their predicted course and then flying parallel to that course. When they reached the known latitude of their target, they turned at right angles and flew down the latitude line until interception. We were at the edge of our seats while Tom and Ross described the ordeal.
It now being noon, we split into two groups to be lead on a tour of the Chabot Center and the several telescopes mounted there. This facility combines many facets of astronomy and science and is well used in educating youngsters. Following the tours we had lunch on the patio in delightful weather and then toured further on our own.
The CMS business meeting was convened at 2:00 PM. David Kalifon opened the 59 ballots received and reported the results. The 2007-2008 officers are as follows: President, Susan Caughey; Vice President for Northern California, Phil Simon; Vice President for Southern California , Greg McIntosh; Secretary, Pat Boyce; Treasurer, Will Tefft. Treasurer Will Tefft reported the condition of the Society was solvent and we currently have 170 paid members. There being no further pressing matters, the business meeting was adjourned.
The next speaker was Tom Harrison of Tom Harrison Maps. Tom creates trail maps using USGS topo maps, carefully updating the trail information. This is done by field work using a GPS locator, a measuring wheel, and a digital voice recorder. Typically, each trail junction is accurately located and the distance between junctions is calculated in tenths of a mile. The elevation of each is recorded. The trail number designation is checked and noted. Then each campsite is located and described and any four wheel drive roads [are] added. Tom gave us each a copy of his Dinkey Lake Wilderness Trail Map. This area just west of Courtright Reservoir and Florence Lake is popular because of its easy trails and access to fishing lakes. Printed on tough plastic, these maps are tear-proof and smudge-proof and are printed in five colors in runs of 3500. As an old backpacker your editor finds these are an improvement over USGS quads which always end in the wrong place. (The Dinkey Lakes map incorporates the corners of four topo maps.) Maps are typically 24 x 18 inches, folded to a handy 4 x 9 inch size.
Next was our own Dr. Leonard Rothman, discussing his personal passion, Cartocravatia. He started with a quick overview of neck wear, pointing out that "cravat" comes from the 17th Century Croatian scarf. He carried the development of men's neckties through four subsequent centuries, from the 18th C Steinkirk, stock, bandanas and incredibles to the 19th C bow, Byron, plantation, and Beau Brummel. The 20th C saw the development of designer, fashion, bolo and finally the crowning achievement, the map tie. The 21st C notes these latter examples in cartographic journals and presentations. Dr. Rothman explained that he has an advanced case of Cartocravatophillia Gravitas. He then produced images of some of his vast collection gathered into ranks and phylums and then some nice examples "in the flesh" so to speak. His quest for such goes on, mainly through the Internet. Search for "Map Ties" and see what you get. You'll be surprised.
Our last speaker was our Newsletter Editor, Bill Warren. When asked to come up with a quick program he thought of a large book, "Historic Lithographs of San Francisco, by Baird & Evans, published by Steven A Waterson, San Francisco, 1972." This book is 3 feet wide by 2 feet high and weighs about 35 lbs. Pretty hard to shelve, but it has a number of lithographed bird's-eye views of San Francisco dating from 1839. San Francisco must have more bird's-eye views done of it than any other city in the United States . Part of the fun is determining who copied from whom because map people are notorious plagiarists. Some of the lithographs were amusing as well as informative, but all illustrated why San Francisco lends itself to this art form so well. The surrounding water adds a dramatic frame and artists have no qualms about exaggerating the vertical scale in these. A fun book on a fun subject, what the speaker called "the Eye Candy of the Map World."
The wrap-up for the meeting came with a special showing in the Chabot planetarium of a program on Black Holes, a spectacular light show. Well worth a visit if you are ever in Oakland . We adjourned to a delightful outdoor party at Barbara Keck's home and map gallery on Russian Hill where we met her 80 or so neighbors for wine, nibbles and special Skyy vodka offerings. It was a meeting capper to remember...