AUTRY CMS MEETING, JANUARY 26, 2008
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|8:30 - 9:00
||Coffee and registration
|9:00 - 9:15
|9:15 - 9:45
||Gregory McIntosh, "The Little-Known Vesconte Maggiolo Manuscript World Map of 1504 and Its Relationship to Other Early World Maps"
|9:45 - 10:15
||Ray Sumner, Professor, Geography Dept., Long Beach City College, will speak on the "Degree Confluence Project" (www.confluence.org)
|10:15 - 10:30
|10:30 - 11:30
||Nick Kanas, "Mapping the Heavens: The Golden Age (1600-1800) of Pictorial Celestial Cartography"
|11:30 - 1:00
||Lunch. May be purchased at café
|1:00 - 1:15
|1:15 - 2:00
||Frank Nielsen of Franko's Maps will give us an update to his map-making business. Last time Frank spoke to us about ten years ago he had produced a couple of mountain biking maps as a part-time hobby/business. Now it is a full-time business and he has produced dozens of recreational maps for hiking, surfing, fishing, etc. for California, Hawaii, Florida, Caribbean, etc. (www.frankosmaps.com)
|2:00 - 2:15
|2:15 - 2:45
||Derek Hayes, the making of the "Historical Atlas of California"
|2:45 - 3:15
||Matthew Coolidge, founder of The Center For Land Use Interpretation. The CLUI is a research organization involved in exploring, examining, and understanding land and landscape issues. The Center employs a variety of methods to pursue its mission - engaging in research, classification, extrapolation, and exhibition. (www.clui.org)
|3:15 - 3:30
|3:45 - 5:00
||Docent-led museum tour
Coffee and rolls met the attendees on an overcast but rainless Saturday morning at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. President Susan Caughey and Vice President Greg McIntosh got the meeting underway with greetings. Then Susan introduced Greg as the first speaker.
Greg's topic was, "The Little Known Vesconte Maggiolo Manuscript World Map of 1504 and its Relationship to other Early World Maps." Greg pointed out that mapmakers often copied from one another and it is sometimes difficult to determine which map was made first. Often a World map would have two sources, one for the New World and another for the Old World. One line of early maps is the Lusitano-Germanic maps, the Maggiolo falling into this category. Better known maps of this group are the Cantino and the Cavario. The other group of maps at that time was of Portuguese design. They differed form the Lusitano-Germanic in the depiction of the Caspian Sea and the coastline of the Americas. Greg's conclusion was that the Caverio map, done in 1503, was the mother map of the Lusitano-Germanic maps. Others such as Waldseemuller and Kunstmann No.2 are later. A somewhat confusing time line, but Greg is putting the whole story into book format, to be published shortly.
The next speaker was Ray Sumner, a professor in the Geography Dept. of Long Beach City College. Her subject was "The Degree Confluence Project and other educational applications for GPS Technology." GPS relies on 24 synchronous satellites originally put up for military purposes with accurate positioning not available for civilian purposes. That changed dramatically on May 1, 2000 when President Clinton ordered better accuracy to be made available to everyone. On the earth there are 64,442 intersecting points of whole number latitude and longitude lines. Of those, 14,029 points are on land. A total of over 10,000 of those have been visited and photos of the area posted on the web. You can view these at www.confluence.com, and add your own pictures from any not already done. Of course, that may mean traveling to some pretty remote areas. What was originally a heavy backpack receiver has been reduced to a cell phone size unit at a modest price. Look at 118 deg W, 34 deg N for a picture of Ray Sumner and some students near Whittier, CA. The whole idea seems to have captivated many students, leading to a more positive view of geography. The latest phenomenon is geocaching where a container is set up at the confluence and one is asked to place an object within with a note on when the site was visited. Sort of GPS treasure hunts open to all comers. Why not look for a confluence in your area and see what's there?
After a short break, the next speaker was our own Dr. Nick Kanas, author of "Star Maps" (see review in last newsletter) and a world recognized expert on Celestial Cartography. Two main types are cosmological diagrams and constellation maps. The former depict our solar system as developed by Ptolemy and Copernicus with variations. Chinese constellation maps showed as many as 284 constellations. Each constellation represented the passage of a period of time. Indian and Egyptian versions tried to narrow the number but still show varying length time periods. Later all adopted the Greek system of 12 constellations, half of which were adopted from the Mesopotamians. Early important people in the development of Celestial cartography are Hipparchus (190-120 BC) for the first star catalog of 850 stars. Ptolemy (100-178 AD) included 1022 stars in his star map. Ptolemy's work was preserved by the Muslim world and expanded by the Byzantines. The advent of printing allowed star maps to be more widely circulated, although they seldom were accurate with stars placed in constellations for affect. Albrecht Durer (1471-1578) made the first celestial chart with a grid to accurately position stars. The great age of celestial cartography was between 1600 and 1800. The Big Four were Johann Bayer with his 1603 Uranometria, Johannes Hevelius, a Polish brewer, with his 1647 Selenographia, John Flamsteed (1646-1719) for Atlas Coelestis, published posthumously, and Johann Bode (1747-1826) for Uranographia. Was there something in the name "John" and its variations driving these people? Read Nick's book and find out.
Lunch was taken in the Autry cafeteria and was followed by a short business meeting. Treasurer Will Tefft reported the Society is solvent with 108 currently paid members (please pay your dues if you have overlooked this important function). President Susan Caughey reported for Northern Vice President Phil Simon that the next meeting would be May 31st, 2008 at the Corps of Engineers facility in Sausalito where we will see their hydraulic model of the Bay Area and Delta. Next year's Southern California meeting will be held at Cal State Fullerton where we will see highlights of the Roy V. Boswell collection. Len Rothman advised that the next Bay Area Map group meeting would be at Phil Simon's home on March 16th. Contact Phil if you would like to attend meetings of this sub-group of CMS.
Our first afternoon speaker was Frank Nielsen of Franko's Maps. Frank had spoken to us 9 years ago about his hand-drawn trail bike maps of Southern California. Those proved so successful that he expanded into other areas with recreational maps. An trail accident had left him in bad shape but on recovery he had the opportunity to save a woman from attack by two vicious Rottweiler dogs. For this he was given a Carnegie Award and medal. He used those funds for expanding his map business and caught the eye of ESRI who helped him acquire ArcView programs which greatly enhanced his products. His maps of Hawaii are brilliantly done with notes on surfing and diving spots as well as biking trails. Frank introduced his cartographer Bill Tipton and explained how Google Earth has expanded his accuracy. He uses Corel Draw. He passed out free copies of his Pearl Harbor map with December 7, 1941 on one side and the same area today on the other, both beautifully done. Frank is a very relaxed and funny speaker, somewhat reminiscent of Garrison Kealor, with a style of his own which pleased everyone. His maps are well thought out masterpieces of cartography.
The next speaker was your Newsletter Editor filling in for Derek Hayes who was saddened that health issues required him to cancel his trip to speak to us. Bill based his presentation on a volume in Warren Heckrotte's collection, a 1915 Guide Book to the roads of California. The emphasis was on how to get to and from the San Diego Panama California Fair of that year celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal. Road guides were rather primitive then with instructions to "turn at the windmill" and similar references. He included advertisements from the publication to liven up the program and scenes from that fair. Buildings from it still stand in Balboa Park some 93 years later.
The last speaker was Eric Knutsen of the Center for Land Use Interpretation. Their major interest is exploring the cultural geography of human built landscape. The work of this non-profit organization can perhaps be best interpreted by visiting their website: www.clui.org. From their Culver City headquarters they take a journalistic approach to exploring the real cost of parking space (7 per registered vehicle in Los Angeles Co.) to the gravel pits of Irwindale. Their treatment is not judgmental, but simply tells the story of what exists that is often ignored. Themed exhibits are placed in public spaces and financed through grants. Some are remote with access by phoning Culver City for the lock code. None have had vandalism problems because they are educational for all. Their investigations and publications can influence public policy here and abroad. A most interesting new source of geographical information without the preaching often associated with environmental investigations.
The meeting adjourned at 3:30 PM followed by an informative docent led tour of the Autry with emphasis on the maps they display. We are indebted to well informed volunteer Bill Paschong for a most interesting presentation on maps and other artifacts of interest to the group. After the tour many of us adjourned for wine and cheese to Bill Warren's home in Pasadena. The rains which had held off all day finally arrived as the party broke up. The day had been dry and beautiful. The varied program put together by Greg McIntosh was refreshing and well-received by all attendees. Thanks for a great job, Greg.