News & Notes


Please mark your calendars and save the date for the:

2019 WAML Annual Conference
September 18-21, 2019
Reno, Nevada

Chrissy Klenke will be hosting us at the University of Nevada, Reno. Keep an eye out in the next couple of months for more information about conference programming and logistics over the listserv and on the conference website: /conference/

If you have questions about the conference or would like more information, please contact:

  • Susan Powell  (
  • Chrissy Klenke (


On behalf of the WAML Executive Board, it gives me great pleasure to announce that we have appointed Sierra Laddusaw as WAML’s first Social Media Manager.  According to the WAML Policies and Procedures, this position manages WAML’s social media presence via social media platforms relevant to the membership (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).  The Social Media Manager advertises WAML events and initiatives, and posts map and GIS related news pertinent to the WAML community on the platforms.

We are grateful that she took the initiative to perform these functions before this position was even created.  Her enthusiasm and professionalism are an asset to this organization, and we are excited that she agreed to continue this role. Congratulations, Sierra!

Tom Brittnacher, WAML President


WAML Policies and Procedures have been updated and posted on the website: /policies.html

Benchmarks: People & Jobs

Still looking for news here.


  • How mapmakers help indigenous people defend their lands: With help from cartographers, native peoples’ hand-drawn maps of their own territory become a tool against exploitation. (National Geographic)
  • A little late for Black History Month, but here are Cartographic Records Relating to African American History from the National Archives.
  • New York Public Library offers public viewing of its 800,000 maps: The maps date back to 1475, and include historic maps of New York City, the nation and the world.

Conferences, Classes & Exhibitions

  • April 11, 2019 – The David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford University will host a talk with Patrick Ellis about City Models: From Panstereorama to the Present. David Rumsey recently digitized an immense model of San Francisco built by the WPA. It includes every structure of the city circa 1939, carved in miniature. Historians of cartography swap stories of such models today; they are uncommon cartographic spectacles—one cast in stone, here; another printed in plastic, there. At one time, these models were common enough to warrant their own designated name: panstereoramas. Based on material that will appear in Ellis’ forthcoming book, “Aeroscopics: Media Archaeology of the Bird’s Eye View,” this talk will survey the phenomenon of the miniature, model city—from plan-relief, to panstereorama, to the present—focusing in particular on such objects in the Balloon Era. At that time, the model city, heretofore a military artifact, was repurposed as a mass media approximation of the aerial view. The intrinsic scale effects of miniaturizing a city for a cartographic purpose doubled as the visual effects of elevation: these were maps that also served as balloon rides. Doors open: 2.30 pm, Event: 3.00 – 4.00 pm. The talk is free but requires advance registration.
  • May 10, 2019 – The David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford University will sponsor our annual lecture series co-sponsored by the California Map Society. It will feature Dr. Stephen Hornsby, director of the Canadian-American Center and Professor of Geography and Canadian Studies at the University of Maine. His research focuses on the historical geography of northeastern North America and the Atlantic world, and on the history of cartography. He has written and co-edited several prize-winning books, including “Surveyors of Empire: Samuel Holland, J.F.W. Des Barres, and the Making of the Atlantic Neptune” (2011), “Historical Atlas of Maine” (2015), and “Picturing America: The Golden Age of Pictorial Maps” (2017). Among his current research projects and the subject of his talk is the impact of the hippie counter-culture on popular cartography. This topic should appeal to those interested in the history of American cartography and who lived through and experienced the hippie movement in the Bay area. The Rumsey Center program will also feature the winner of the California Map Society/Rumsey Map Center Graduate Student Essay Competition. Doors open 2.30 pm, 3.00 pm: TBD: Student Essay Competition Winner, 4.00 pm: Professor Stephen Hornsby. The talks are free but require advanced registration.
  • October 10-12, 2019 – The David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford University is excited to announce the second “Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference on Cartography”to be held at the Center. For this year’s meeting, all the papers will focus on the relationship between gender, sexuality, and cartography. While some scholars have examined the interplay of gender identities and mapping, particularly with regard to the role of women as buyers and sellers in the historical map market, this work remains isolated and has yet to make a significant impact on the wider field. This conference hopes to offer a counterpoint to this trend by bringing together diverse approaches and hosting interdisciplinary discussions. While all the invited speakers are experts in maps and mapping, they will also bring their specialties in queer, women’s, and gender studies to bear on the nuanced ways in which maps are conditioned by and help to construct, and transgress, gendered and sexualized norms and spaces. Paper topics include mapping masculinity in French Vietnam, women in American cartographic history, the gendered cartographic language of medieval texts, the digital mapping of homosexual spaces, and much more.
  • If you’re in Washington, DC this summer for the ALA Annual Conference or for another reason, there are several indefinite exhibitions:
    • Exploring the Early Americas is an exhibition featuring the 1507 Waldseemüller “World Map,” the first map to use the name America; and rotating items from the Jay I. Kislak Collection, which includes rare books, manuscripts, historic documents, maps and art of the Americas. Also on display is Waldseemüller’s “Carta Marina” or Navigators’ Chart; and the Schöner Sammelbund, a portfolio that contained two world maps and other cartographic materials. The exhibition is in the Northwest Gallery of the Jefferson Building, Library of Congress. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
    • Mapping a Growing Nation: Abel Buell’s Map of the United States, 1784 is an exhibition at the Library of Congress featuring the first map of the newly independent United States that was compiled, printed and published in America by an American. The exhibition will be located in the Great Hall North Gallery on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E. Free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Rare and historically important, the Abel Buell map also was the first map to be copyrighted in the United States. Seven copies of the map are known to exist, and this copy is considered the best preserved and, therefore, is the most frequently chosen for illustration of Buell’s work. Also on display will be four early maps of North America by John Mitchell, Carington Bowles, Thomas Hutchins and William Faden, which were created from 1755 to 1778. Buell most likely consulted these maps when he engraved his large wall map. A 1784 map of the United States by William McMurray, which was published nine months after Buell’s map, will complete the exhibition.
    • In 2011, Albert H. Small donated to George Washington University Museum, 701 21st Street NW, his unrivaled collection of 1,000 maps and prints, rare letters, photographs, and drawings that document the history of Washington, DC. A Collector’s Vision: Creating the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection presents highlights of the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection, including Mr. Small’s first acquisition and other items that explore what motivates individuals to collect.
  • January 14, 2019 – August 31, 2019 – Sedona, Arizona
    The Sedona Heritage Museum, 735 Jordan Road, has announced the opening of their newest temporary exhibit, a display of Sedona and Arizona maps. Entitled Maps In Our Lives, the exhibit features almost all maps that include Sedona as part of their geography, yet focus on a variety of themes. Several are colorful; some are cartoonish; a few are Sedona tourism maps of the past; and others are maps that try to preserve historic routes that included Sedona before there was a “Sedona”.
  • April 7, 2019 – August 3, 2019 – Denver
    Maps from Denver Public Library’s map collection will be on display to accompany Map Month lectures. Visualizing Colorado: Maps & Views of the Centennial State can be seen at the entrance to the Gates Room, 5th Floor.

For other events, see: Cartography – Calendar of Meetings and Events Exhibitions

New Maps & Web Sites of Interest

  • Global Dam Watch aims to maintain the world’s most comprehensive and freely available global dam data. This site provides information on the location and characteristics of dam, reservoir, and river barrier datasets at global and regional scales. Data of this nature enables a wide range of groundbreaking new studies related to the social and environmental effects of large-scale dam construction and operation.

Publications about Mapping

  • Fake Maps Are The Best Maps features Swedish artist Karl Vesterberg.
  • The new book, The Writer’s Map, was reported last time, but here’s another feature from Atlas Obscura, with images: How Writers Map Their Imaginary Worlds.
  • Hand drawn by artist cartographer Antron Thomas for over four years, The North American Continent is almost complete and ready for sale.
  • If night lights were mountains: Cartographer invents whole new way to look at Earth: Thousands of mountaineers have conquered Everest. But how many have climbed into the thermosphere to summit a peak of raw, incandescent light? Alpinists wishing to challenge the laws of physics will find a wonderfully illustrative road map in Jacob Wasilkowski’s “Earth at Night, Mountains of Light.” The St. Louis-based geospatial Web developer, who will show his creation in early March at the Esri Developer Summit in Palm Springs, Calif., has taken the brightest spots on the planet at night and transformed them into luminous, towering structures….(Washington Post)
  • Tolkien-style maps in ArcGIS Pro? @John_M_Nelson shows you how to make your own in a few easy steps ( blog)