News & Notes: April – July 2021

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Hi everyone, hope everyone’s summer is starting off well! For this edition, I thought I’d highlight & compile a list of hiking map makers based from a MapsL discussion. Here is the list: 

If you have any events, conferences, or cool map links, feel free to reach out to me at Thanks! -Georgia Brown

WAML’s Website Annoucment

WAML’s new website launches on Monday, August 2nd, which uses WordPress to facilitate easier maintenance and wider functionality. The new site design and organization were envisioned through the use of feedback from WAML membership and website analytics collected by the WAML Web Review Task Force. Work to migrate original website information for multiple platforms, update and create new content, and configure the new site was performed by the WAML Web Advancement Project Team. Check it out when it launches.


Friday, July 9th at 2pm EDT/11am PDT. – Please join us for the next free webinar co-hosted by MAGIRT and WAML. Our speakers will be members of the Big Ten Academic Alliance Geospatial Data Project Register online

The BigTen Academic Alliance Geospatial Data Project is collectively managed by librarians and geospatial specialists at thirteen research institutions across the BigTen Academic Alliance. The most visible output of the project is the BTAAGeoportal, which connects users to digital geospatial resources, including GIS datasets, web services, and digitized historical maps from multiple data clearinghouses and library catalogs. Aside from the Geoportal, the project contributes to the Big Ten Academic Alliance by sharing expertise, leveraging campus resources, and collaborating on innovative programs, including metadata improvement, software application development, efforts to diversify and enhance geospatial data collections, targeted improvements to outreach and teaching, and providing a robust, user-tested search environment. This talk will describe the efforts of the project team to meet these needs through innovation and collaboration across the geographies of the BTAA.

August 4, 2021 – Boston (Online)
Join the Leventhal Map and Education Center at 7:00 pm to hear scholar Michele Navakas as she explores the “liquid landscapes” of places like Florida in the eighteenth century, helping us reframe our understanding of the American Revolutionary period through cartography and landscape history. Liquid Landscapes and the Edges of America, From the Revolutionary Era to Today examines a rich archive of historical documents that show how diverse groups of people met, struggled, and mixed in regions where boundaries themselves were hard to define. This talk is the first in the Richard H. Brown Seminar on the Historical Geography of the American Revolutionary Era and is co-presented by the Touchton Map Library. Login information will be provided to those who register.

September 9, 2021 – USA (Online)
The Boston, California, Chicago, New York, Philip Lee Phillips, Rocky Mountain, Texas, and Washington Map Societies are offering a virtual lecture via Zoom. Anyone interested in participating in the meeting must RSVP to John Docktor at washmap(at) in order to receive the meeting ID and passcode. Meeting will start at 7:00 PM Eastern Time, 6:00 PM Central Time, 5:00 PM Mountain Time, and 4:00 PM Pacific Time. Andrew J. Rhodes (Department of Defense, board member of Washington Map Society) will discuss James Monteith: Cartographer, Educator, and Master of the Margins. James Monteith (1831–1890) was a leading figure in American geography education in the late nineteenth century, but his career has been largely forgotten, and his contribution to cartography has been underappreciated. His geography volumes included unique illustrations to help the reader visualize terrain on a continental scale and place individual maps in a global context. Monteith’s maps were surrounded with remarkable symbology and amplifying data that ought perhaps to earn him the title “master of the margins.”

September 30-October 3, 2021 – Arlington, Texas (Hybrid)
The second regional symposium of the ICA Commission on the History of Cartography (with Call for Papers, open until July 30, 2021), the 12th Virginia Garrett Lectures, and the Fall meeting of the Texas Map Society will be held at the University of Texas Arlington. The theme is Coordinating Cartographic Collections, and the accompanying exhibit will feature recent acquisitions. Meeting will be virtual and in-person.

October 7, 2021 – USA (Online)
The Boston, California, Chicago, New York, Philip Lee Phillips, Rocky Mountain, Texas, and Washington Map Societies are offering a virtual lecture via Zoom. Anyone interested in participating in the meeting must RSVP to John Docktor at washmap(at) in order to receive the meeting ID and passcode. Meeting will start at 7:00 PM Eastern Time, 6:00 PM Central Time, 5:00 PM Mountain Time, and 4:00 PM Pacific Time. Anthony Mullan (Library of Congress) will discuss late 19th century maps of Cuba.

November 13, 2021 – USA (Online)
The Boston, California, Chicago, New York, Philip Lee Phillips, Rocky Mountain, Texas, and Washington Map Societies are offering a virtual lecture via Zoom. Anyone interested in participating in the meeting must RSVP to John Docktor at washmap(at) in order to receive the meeting ID and passcode. Two-hour meetings will start at 2:00 PM Eastern Time, 1:00 PM Central Time, 12:00 PM Mountain Time, and 11:00 AM Pacific Time. Meagan Snow (Geospatial Data Visualization Librarian, Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress) and John Hessler (Specialist in Computational Geography and Geographic Information Science, Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress) will present Mapping Ourselves: A Cartographic Introduction to the 2020 Census & Tapestry Segmentation Analysis. The 2020 Census, along with the American Community Survey, provide a snapshot of the demographics of the American population like no other sources available. Combined, they tell the story of the spatial distribution of everything from health care, cell phone ownership, housing expenditures, and the level of poverty in the United States by age, gender, and race. John Hessler and Meagan Snow have spent this last year advising and training Congressional staff on the data and how to efficiently visualize and map it for policy analysis. The first talk by Hessler, will present an overview of the computational and statistical methods used to create the data and the theory behind segmentation analysis. The second talk by Snow, will focus on visualizing and understanding the data using GIS and other cartographic tools.


September 17-18, 2021 – Winston-Salem, North Carolina
The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, 924 S Main St, will be hosting a two-day conference Mapping the Early American South. From the earliest mapping of North America by European navigators to campaigns during the French & Indian War and the American Revolution to further exploration through westward expansion, join us as we delve into how different communities used maps as tools to establish unique visions of the American South. Margaret Pritchard is helping organize this event, and she has an impressive list of speakers signed up. Online-only registration will be available after the in-person program has sold out.

October 13-16, 2021 – Oklahoma City, OK
We cordially invite you to the 41st annual meeting of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) in Oklahoma City, OK. You are invited to attend in-person to participate remotely. 

October 20-22, 2021 – Stanford (Online)
The David Rumsey Map Center is excited to announce that the 3rd Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference on Cartography will focus on Indigenous Cartography as well as its connections with other cartography. This theme is of paramount importance, especially as Indigenous peoples around the world continue to fight for their recognition and rights to land and resources. Simultaneously, institutions are increasingly examining their roles in exploitative imperial expansion and settler colonialism. The history of colonial encounters and indigenous agency can both be glimpsed in historical maps, many of which were made by Indigenous peoples or thanks to crucial, often unacknowledged, Indigenous contributions. More recently, mapping technologies are helping Indigenous groups to monitor resources, protect language, survey territory, govern, and provide evidence for reclamation and recognition procedures. Scholars, many of them Indigenous, are voicing their critiques and interventions using geographic and cartographic frameworks. The online conference is entirely free and available to anyone who registers.

October 26th-October 29th – WAML Annual Conference
With a long history of attracting librarians, educators, researchers, students, and publishers, this year’s conference will feature workshops, presentations, and a keynote address by Christine McRae and Victor Temprano of Native Land Digital.

We encourage you to submit your workshop or presentation proposals for the 3-day virtual conference. Potential presentation topics include:

  • Maps/GIS and diversity
  • Teaching, learning, and upskilling
  • GIS and map librarianship
  • Collaboration and partnership
  • Historical maps and cartography
  • Geospatial services and resources

Please use the form at the link below to submit your workshop or presentation information before the deadline of Friday, August 13th. Submissions will be reviewed, and presenters will be contacted by Friday, September 3rd. Submit your proposals here:

Diversity and Early Career, WAML Conference Scholarships: The Western Association of Map Libraries (WAML) is an independent association of map and geospatial librarians and other people with an interest in maps and geospatial librarianship. WAML is committed to actively encouraging diverse voices and new perspectives in the field of map and geospatial librarianship and within our organization. We are excited to announce three scholarship opportunities in conjunction with the 2021 WAML virtual conference October 26–29, which is free for all to attend. Each scholarship includes an award of $500, a one-year membership in WAML, and the opportunity to present at the virtual conference. The award also includes free conference registration for the next in-person WAML Annual Meeting. The application deadline is Sunday, September 12, 11:59 PM (PDT). Scholarship applicants will be notified of the results by the end of September 2021. The announcement will be sent out via email on Monday 8/2/2021.

November 18-20, 2021 – New Orleans
The Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries will be held at the Williams Research Center of the Historic New Orleans Collection. The opening reception will take place on Thursday evening (November 18), followed by the conference on November 19 and 20. Theme: “Changing Tides: Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans on the Gulf Coast.” Although we are hopeful that this meeting will be held in person, we will continue to monitor the epidemiological situation. We will inform participants should it be necessary to pivot to a virtual platform.

Websites of Interest

Recent Mappy Links: 

  • The lost graves of Louisiana’s enslaved people (The New York Times)
  • The U.S. neighborhoods with the greatest tree inequity, mapped (Bloomberg CityLab)
  • Follow the path of a rain drop (River Runner)
  • There’s a new ocean now. Can you name all five? (National Geographic)
  • Her whole life, she was told to avoid the South Side. The folded map project helped her challenge that. (Block Club Chicago)
  • Mapping the “historic and dangerous” heat wave hitting the U.S. and Canada (NASA)
  • How charts and graphs redefined how the modern world solved problems (New Yorker)
  • A subtle joy that was lost to Covid, and now refound: crossing paths with strangers (New Yorker)
  • In the U.S., electoral redistricting heats up with two groups filing lawsuits against new voting maps in Illinois (Star Courier)
  • Maps highlight the severity of drought conditions in western U.S. (New York Times)
  • The destruction left by Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, mapped (Washington Post)
  • Deepfake maps could mislead governments, sow uncertainty (Wired)
  • Mapping Israeli occupation of Gaza (Al Jazeera)
  • Where New York City’s mayoral candidates draw donations (New York Times)
  • On “the universal visitation law of human mobility” (Vice)

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