Understanding Maps in an Academic Environment

Faculty: Julie Sweetkind-Singer


This course is designed to provide a general overview of primarily western mapping with regards to their history and 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, celestial charts, etc.); innovations in American mapping; thematic cartography and visualization; the history of national atlases; and reference materials and cartobibliographies.

Time will be dedicated to learning about conservation of the materials, digital scanning processes and standards, and dedicated viewing environments for cartographic content.  If possible, the class will include a visit to a conservation lab, a fine press printer, and discussions with faculty about their use of maps in teaching and research.  The class is scheduled to be taught on the campus of Stanford University.

Years taught: 2021