History of Cartography/Maps

Current faculty: Julie Sweetkind-Singer

Description: This course is designed to provide a general overview of the history of maps in the western world as well as their use in modern day teaching and research. Topics will include an introduction to maps (projections, scale, visualization of information), the history of map printing; the rise of European mapping; the role of maps as cultural and social objects; the wide variety and type of maps produced (nautical charts, city views and plans, topographic, land ownership, globes, celestial charts, etc.); conservation issues; reference materials and cartobibliographies, and the role of museums and libraries as stewards of the content.

The class will also explore how antiquarian maps are used by present day researchers, teachers and students. A day will be spent at Stanford University learning about their map program, which includes a dedicated map scanning lab, a robust system to manage high resolution digital imagery from creation to preservation, and the development of viewing environments specifically for this type of content. We will also spend time exploring how to use the digital surrogates in research by incorporating spatial viewing and analysis with geographic information systems and visualization tools such as Google Earth and Carto.

Requirements: No previous experience necessary.

Years taught: 2013, 2015, 2017

Previous Title: History of Maps