1992 – 1993 Meetings

Date: September 17, 1992
Title: Exposition in the History of Soil Cartography
Speaker: John Long, Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography, The Newberry Library
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

At its first meeting of this New Year, John Long will discuss Captain John Smith’s map of New England. He will focus on how, over the years, Smith changed the map’s function and purpose. John Long describes himself as a historian who loves maps: he came to the Newberry to work on the Atlas of Early American History and is currently the director of the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries project. He is a past president of the Chicago Map Society.

Date: October 15, 1992
Title: Paper Trails: Early Road Maps in the Promotion of Auto Tourism and Highway Construction
Speaker: Jim Akerman, Assistant Director of the Newberry’s Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography, The Newberry Library
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Dr. Akerman will explore the ways in which highway and automobile interests used maps to encourage the recreational use of cars and to lobby for the construction of a national system of interstate highways.

Date: October 17, 1992
Title: Field Trip to Perspecto Map Co.
Speaker: Eugene Derdeyn, President and Chief Cartographer, Perspecto Map Co.
Location: Perspecto Map Co., 5720 George St., Richmond, Ill

Eugene Derdeyn will give us a tour of his studio and talk about how he makes his modern birds-eye-view maps. Richmond, Illinois, also boasts over a dozen antique shops, a chocolate factory, and a couple of outstanding restaurants (Mill Inn is run by a former chef of the Pump Room). The prospect of a gourmet lunch after the Perspecto tour, plus other things to do in the afternoon, make this an unusually rich opportunity.

Date: November 12, 1992
Title: GIS Analysis of Socio-Economic Survey Data
Speaker: Kathy Thorne, Senior Research Associate, Metro Chicago Information Center
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Kathy Thorne, Senior Research Associate at the newly founded Metro Chicago Information Center, installed the Center’s computerized geographic information system (GIS). Her talk will cover how she set up the system and how it can be used to analyze social data and display it cartographically.

Date: December 7, 1992
Title: Dinner, followed by Members’ Show-and-Tell
Speaker: Members of the Chicago Map Society
Location: Como Inn, Chicago, Ill.

This meeting has developed as a tradition, an occasion when members are encouraged to bring samples from their work or their collections, to tell a bit about them, and to answer questions from others at the dinner.

Date: January 21, 1993
Title: The Mystery of Ptolemy’s Taprobane
Speaker: Ananda Abeydeera, Fellow, Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography, The Newberry Library
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

The final regional map in Ptolemy’s Geography depicts an Asian island of nearly continental size that he named Taprobane. Since the Renaissance, western scholars have failed to agree on the modern equivalent of Taprobane. Relying on place names, Dr. Abeydeera will reveal a new solution to this centuries-old puzzle.

Date: February 18, 1993
Title: Old Maps in the Classroom
Speaker: Gerald Danzer, Professor of History, University of Illinois at Chicago
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

“Cartographic Traditions in Western Civilization” is a curriculum development project at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 1992, thirty teachers attended an intensive summer institute sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Gerald Danzer, director of the project will describe the project’s goals and activities. He will be joined by several teachers who will tell how they have used old maps in their history classrooms.

Date: March 25, 1993
Title: Maps to Manage Infrastructure
Speaker: Mark Ptak, Operations Manager, INFRACON
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

Mark Ptak will demonstrate the system for tracking and managing the various elements of municipal infrastructure that his company INFRACON has developed. The system makes extensive use of computer cartography, and Mr. Ptak will bring with him some of the equipment used in the system. INFRACON is an infrastructure management consulting firm, and Mark Ptak is its Operations Manager.

Date: April 15, 1993
Title: Maps That Deceive and How to Spot Them
Speaker: John Long, Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography, The Newberry Library
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

John Long will show slides and talk about some of the things that can make maps untrustworthy, ranging from simple mistakes and whimsical additions through a variety of projections to the potentially serious distortions of advertising and statistical maps. John is the editor of the Newberry’s Atlas of Historical County Boundaries and currently is Vice President of the Map Society.

Date: May 20, 1993
Title: Maps and the Columbian Encounter
Speaker: David Buisseret and James Akerman, Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography, The Newberry Library
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

David Buisseret will speak about the 15th International Conference on the History of Cartography that will be held at the Newberry in June. James Akerman will deliver a brief lecture—“Neither Better Nor Worse: Debunking the British Road Map Mystique”—based on his recent research trip to London and Edinburgh surveying early twentieth-century British road maps.

Date: June 17, 1993
Title: “Two by Two” Exhibition Tour
Speaker: David Buisseret, Director, Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography, The Newberry Library
Location: Towner Fellows’ Lounge, The Newberry Library

David Buisseret will talk about the new map exhibition at the Newberry “Two by Two” that has been mounted for the XVth International Conference on the History of Cartography. After introductory remarks, David will lead a tour of the exhibits in the gallery.