News & Notes

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This issue will be my last New and Notes. The website says I started in 2009, so I am long past due. This will be a shorter issue, more of a roundup of things, because, frankly, I am out of gas, and the pandemic hasn’t helped. I will leave this in the capable hands of Georgia Lee Brown at the American Geographical Society Library, as we begin a new tradition of the editor being named after a certain Confederate general. I would like to thank Kathy Rankin, especially for sending me news and notes over the years. Submit items to Georgia at

WAML 2020 Wrapup

Another very successful WAML Conference is in the books. Held online from October 14-16, 231 people were registered. Presentations were recorded on Crowdcast and are available on the Conference website. Scholarship Program winners announced at this year’s conference were Marian Ekweogwu (University of Illinois, UC), Genevieve Milliken (New York University), and Jack Swab (University of Kentucky). The presentations can be viewed here. Genevieve’s research is presented in the story map, The Religious Landscape of New Orleans: Exploring the WPA’s Directory of Churches and Religious Organizations (1941).

The keynote Mapping Black California at WAML 2020 by Paulette Brown-Hinds, Ph.D., and Candice Mays is available on Crowdcast, which features the Mapping Black California Census Lab. See also story maps at Black Voice News.

A Jekyll template for GIS workshops features material presented in Teaching Workshops in a Virtual World Using GitHub Workflows by Evan Thornberry and Phil White.

See the website at Stanford featured in the presentation, Cartographic Symbologies: The Art and Design of Expression in Historic Maps. This is a space to simply browse through digitized paper maps; with several individuals contributing to this process, our hope is that these many perspectives will highlight new or unique details within the maps.

Heather Ross’s story map How Sanborn webmaps helped save my sanity was presented in a lightning talk. Goal: Create an interactive web map that helps patrons find the exact sheet they are looking for (without me!).

University Libraries GIS Support: Report on GIS Services offered at the Texas A&M University Libraries written during FY20 by Sierra Laddusaw and John Watts.

Mapping Relationships: Interdisciplinary Collaboration for the Win by Meg Miller and Jesse Boiteau featured the National Student Memorial Register and Memorial Map at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, University of Manitoba.

The Online Guide to U.S. Map Collections is a directory of map collections, big and small, across the United States. It is seeking more entries. Take the Survey to Get on the Map!  (I still need to do this!)

I’m sure I missed links related to presentations during the conference. Please send anything you would like highlighted to Georgia for the next News and Notes.

WAML records are now available on Stanford’s website, thanks to the work of Andria Olson and Kim Durante. Materials include meeting records, minutes, correspondence, and documents related to the constitution, committees, and finances of WAML.  Images of WAML members and events are represented in digital and hard copies.

Long time WAML member Linda Zellmer retired in June: “I wanted to let everyone know that today is my last day at WIU. I am retiring after 35+ years as a librarian in various locations. During that time, I have had the pleasure of working with materials on a wide variety of subjects and formats, particularly maps, and have also worked with students seeking data and information in the sciences. Because of the variety, I have thoroughly enjoyed my job.

In my retirement, I will be doing some research and writing, so you may see my name on an article or two in the future. There is one puzzle that I need to unravel, a set of maps for Peoria dealing with French land claims that might have been used as evidence in a Supreme Court case in the 1850s.”

Now available: WAML member Stanley Stevens’ book, Names on the Map: History of the 1889 “First” Official Map of Santa Cruz County, California has been published by the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (scroll to bottom). It includes biographical sketches of the principal participants, plus reproductions of the Hatch Map of 1889 and a complete index to landowner’s names depicted on the map. For historians and genealogists.

Other News

  • The University of California, Berkeley Library recently launched a website for German World War II Captured Maps. During World War II and in its immediate aftermath, the U.S. Army Map Service (AMS) acquired large quantities of captured German World War II maps, which were important planning tools for the war of aggression waged by the Nazi regime and document the exploitation of resources in Nazi-occupied territories. These maps proved invaluable to U.S. military planners during the early Cold War years, particularly German military map series covering eastern and southeastern Europe. By the mid-1950s, however, the U.S. Army Map Service started to deposit these German maps in U.S. research libraries. Today the German World War II maps form important legacy collections in many American map libraries, including the UC Berkeley Library map collection… Prior to the pandemic shutdown, we were processing approximately 500 map sheets each month, with approximately 10,000 maps cataloged, scanned, and stored thus far. We intend to continue work to complete the project as soon as conditions allow.
  • ALA MAGIRT news: The Education committee is going to work on a Map Librarianship 101 series in 2021. WAML and MAGIRT continue to co-produce webinars; the latest was delivered on Friday, October 23rd, 2020, by Ryan Mattke, head of the John R. Borchert Map Library at the University of Minnesota.  He presented on current and future work of the university library’s “Mapping Prejudice Project” [].
  • WAML member Sierra Laddusaw, Texas A&M University, is the new Chair of MAGIRT as of July 1, 2020.  She is the Digital Scholarship Curator and Head, Map and GIS Library.  Min Zhang, head of the Cataloging Team, Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, is the new Vice-Chair while Iris Taylor, Senior Cataloging Specialist, LC G&M Division, is now Past chair.
  • The NACIS 2020 conference was held on the same days as WAML, but you can view all of the sessions on their YouTube channel. And be sure to check out this year’s map galleries. Also, NACIS publishes a showcase book of maps every two years, The Atlas of Design, and volume 5 is now being made (sheets are printed, and it’s off to the bindery). We hope to begin shipping by the middle of November. The atlas includes 31 contributions, in full color, 9 x 12″. Each contributor has an essay discussing their work. There’s an introductory essay by five long-time NACIS members talking about how technology interacts with their design sense and creative process. You can pre-order the Atlas at, and you can view some snippets of the atlas at Price is $25 plus shipping ($9.75 in the US).
  • Registration is now open for the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) GIS Conference on Friday, November 13th! This one-day conference will bring together geographic information users across disciplines from different Big Ten institutions. Registration for the entirely online conference is free and open to all. The schedule is attached to this email, and more information is available on the conference website. We recommend that you use your school or work email for registration, if possible. The Map Gallery is still open for submissions until October 31st! Please visit the conference submissions form to submit your Map Gallery proposal. We will also have a Pub Trivia event on Thursday evening, courtesy of MSU SWIG (Supporting Women In Geography)! We’ll play two rounds of traditional pub trivia covering a myriad of geography topics and pop culture. (6:30pm Eastern/5:30pm Central). If you have questions about the program, please contact Nicole Kong (Associate Professor, GIS Specialist, Purdue Libraries, and School of Information Studies) at

Conferences, Classes & Exhibitions

There are many online lectures and such coming up. Some of these will have occurred before the Information Bulletin is published, but most usually have archived video. There are far too many to list here, so go to Cartography – Calendar of Meetings and Events for a complete listing. Here’s a roundup of links to map societies nationwide. I think all of these organizations have recently hosted an online event with archived video or have one coming up in the near future (which are detailed at the link above).

Note other groups with events in November and December:

November 13-14, 2020 – New Orleans (Online) The Society for the History of Discoveries has made a difficult decision to hold our 60th Anniversary 2020 SHD Annual Meeting virtually, via Zoom. The theme is New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta: Cultural Crossroads. Conference schedule and Zoom registration link are online. Meeting is 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM Central Time each day.

November 18, 2020 – Portland, Maine (Online) The Osher Map Library invites you 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM EDT for our annual Mattson-New York Times Lecture and the second event in our Fall 2020 Lecture Series. Tim Wallace, Ph.D., Senior Editor for Geography and The New York Times, will discuss Mapping the 2020 Election; a behind-the-scenes look at how the New York Times used maps and geography to help readers understand the political makeup of the country during one of the most complicated election years in recent memory. Registration online.

November 24, 2020 – Cambridge, England (Online) The Cambridge Seminars in the History of Cartography will meet via Zoom at 5.30 PM. Please send email to sarah.bendall(at) for the link to register. Walter Arader (New York) will speak about Mapping anarchy: cartography during the rise of the British East India Company. For further information contact Sarah Bendall (sarah.bendall(at) at tel. 01223 330987. Emmanuel College Cambridge kindly supports the seminar.

December 2, 2020 – Portland, Maine (Online) The Osher Map Library invites you to join us 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM EDT for “Make the Map All White:” The Use of Maps in the Suffrage and Prohibition Campaigns, a lecture by Dr. Susan Schulten. Maps were essential instruments in two of the most ambitious challenges to American law in the twentieth century: the suffrage and prohibition campaigns. Persuasive maps have long been deployed in American history and were especially important in generating opposition to slavery in the west in the 1850s. Registration online.

December 4, 2020 – Stanford (Online) The David Rumsey Map Center will have a webinar 2:45–4:15 PM. Nick Kanas will discuss Mapping the Heavens: Celestial Cartography from Ancient to Modern Times. In this online talk, Nick Kanas will explore the evolution of celestial cartography. Click here to register.

December 10, 2020 – London (Online) The Thirtieth Series of “Maps and Society” lectures in the history of cartography are convened by Catherine Delano-Smith (Institute of Historical Research, University of London), Tony Campbell (formerly Map Library, British Library), Peter Barber (Visiting Fellow, History, King’s College, formerly Map Library, British Library) and Alessandro Scafi (Warburg Institute). Meetings normally are held at the Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Woburn Square, London WC1H OAB, at 5.00 PM. Admission is free, and each meeting is followed by refreshments. All are most welcome. However, under present circumstances, it will be a virtual meeting (Zoom) unless otherwise informed (times are uncertain, and not every meeting can be guaranteed as described). Those wishing to attend should go to the Warburg Institute’s What’s On page to register (there is no charge), after which you will be sent a registration link with guidelines. Dr. Ronald Grim (formerly Curator of Maps, Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center, Boston Public Library, USA) will speak about Annotated Atlases: Unravelling Stories of Personal Provenance. Enquiries: Tony Campbell <tony(at)> or Catherine Delano-Smith< c.delano-smith(at)>.

December 11-15, 2020 – Paris (Online) The 2020 edition of the Paris Map & Instrument fair will now take place virtually. Due to COVID-19, the traditional in-person fair at Hotel Ambassador has been canceled until 2021. However, with the advancement and widespread adoption of video conference technology, we are happy to bring the Fair to you virtually through the virtual platform by Collectible Events. Virtual attendees will be able to browse and purchase hundreds of maps and prints, connect with dealers via zoom video, and sit in on live presentations by leading map experts.

Register now for the first UC GIS Week conference from Nov. 17th – 19th! The University of California GIS Week is an opportunity for you to learn and engage with experts and mapping projects across the UC system and beyond! Ask questions during the thematic mapping panels, engage with GIS industry professionals, interact with posters and presenters, and connect during social events. The event will be hosted virtually through Zoom. All talks are free and open to the public!

New Maps & Web Sites of Interest’s hand-drawn map of the Wild World.
Figure 1:’s hand-drawn map of the Wild World.
  •’s home of fine hypertext products features posts about maps, such as the hand-drawn map of the Wild World.
  • A very impressive story map of Stephen King’s Maine: Mixing fictitious and real-life places in the King of Horror’s literary world.
  • From the Library of Congress map blog: Verba Incognita: A Guide to Deciphering Latin on Maps.
  • The Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land isn’t exactly new, but I don’t think it’s been featured here before. Based at UCSD, DAAHL is an international project that brings together experts in information technology including Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the archaeology of the Holy Land (modern Israel, Palestine, Jordan, southern Lebanon, Syria, and the Sinai Peninsula) to create the first online digital atlas of the region held sacred to the three great monotheistic faiths – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. UCSD Library has worked with the Anthropology Department over the years to support aspects of DAAHL.

Publications about Mapping

  • Some quick links from MapLab:
    • The iconic New York City Subway Map is now digital and live. (Curbed).
    • Maps that suggest maybe the future isn’t all bad (Guardian).
    • Tripping down L.A.’s Sunset Boulevard with Ed Ruscha (L.A. Times).
    • The man mapping footpaths across England (BBC).

Some election mapping to finish:

A visual representation of every vote cast in the 2016 United States presidential election. Image courtesy of Kenneth Field and Esri.
Figure 2: A visual representation of every vote cast in the 2016 United States presidential election. Image courtesy of Kenneth Field and Esri.Retrieved from:
Map of change in turnout from the 2012 to the 2016 election
Figure 3: Map of change in turnout from 2012 to the 2016 election.

Complied by:
Michael Smith, Subject Specialist for Maps, California Government Information, Religion, Philosophy, and GIS Coordinator
UC San Diego, Libraries

***This is Michael’s last issue as the WAML News & Notes Editor. Thank you for the many, many years of compiling and contributing to the News & Notes section of the WAML IB. His successor will be Georgia Lee Brown, Public Servies Librarian, American Geographical Society Library, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries

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