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#1
Nick Springer

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Are there any dedicated museums to Cartography, large or small? Not a collection in a library but a dedicated museum?

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#2
peanut

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Are there any dedicated museums to Cartography, large or small?  Not a collection in a library but a dedicated museum?

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Here in Austin, TX the State History museum had an exhibit showing the historic maps of Texas. The exhibit ran for a few months last year and was very interesting.

Rich

#3
natcase

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How would you define the difference? Many museums include libraries/research collections, and many (most?) of the world's great cartographic libraries have display areas. The question feels a little like asking if there are book museums...

Are there any dedicated museums to Cartography, large or small?  Not a collection in a library but a dedicated museum?

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Nat Case
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#4
Nick Springer

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I was think of a setting like an art museum, with galleries and maps mounted on the walls with explainations, open to the general public.

In my daily interactions, people always profess a love for maps, a respect for the craft of cartography, and a desire to learn more abou them. It seem like there would be a place for a map museum in the traditional sense of the word.

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#5
Kartograph

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From my neck of the woods:

There is a very large and traditional firm of mapmakers called:

Justus Perthes

They have one of the largest collections of travel-logs and historical maps. They tried to get into a cooperation with the government to get a museum funded for their collection. They started to plan right after reunification, it was only in 2003, that the University of Gotha bought the whole collection. Due to money problems, the huge collection will be opened in 2008/9 to the general public. It would be the first map-only museum that I know of.

What happens regularly in Berlin, is a special display of thematically linked maps from all the map collections which are situated in Berlin. This August, for example there will be a special display of the history of the mapping the tropics.

Than there is a part of the "Deutsches Museum" dedicated for Geodesy directly followed by a part for Cartography.

#6
natcase

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I was think of a setting like an art museum, with galleries and maps mounted on the walls with explainations, open to the general public.

In my daily interactions, people always profess a love for maps, a respect for the craft of cartography, and a desire to learn more abou them.  It seem like there would be a place for a map museum in the traditional sense of the word.

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Then I would recommend the display areas of (to specifically recommend ones I've visited) The Harvard University Map Library, the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, The Newberry Library, the Osher Map Library in Portland ME, the hallways of the USGS office in Menlo Park...

But these are more like galleries than permanent interpretive museums. The National Geographic Society has some of that feel, but it is not specifically cartographic. There certainly have been wonderful museum map shows (the Cooper-Hewitt Museum's exhibit based on Denis Wood's The Power of Maps back in the early 90's stands out in memory), but...

I think one of the biggest challenges is the place of critical writing in curatorship. Until recently, map scholarship was bibliographical and historical, not critical in the sense that fine art is studied critically. No map critic columns in the major papers, really not a well-established language of criticism. And what language there is, pays most attention to the incompleteness or falseness of "maps as facts."

I would think it would easier now, after 20+ years of serious carto-criticism, to curate a properly balanced permanent collection. I'll be curious to see/hear how the Perthes collection is presented: politically driven, or historically remote? Maps as representative of their time, maps as documents of historical facts, maps as emblems of individual creation?

Nat Case
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maphead.blogspot.com



#7
Hans van der Maarel

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Not really a museum for maps, but interesting nonetheless:

Geofort (Dutch only)

This is an initiative by 2 Dutch cartographers. They obtained an old fort from the government and are turning it into an "educational geo-themepark". Just started a few months ago, so they still have a long way to go, but I figured it was worth mentioning.
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#8
Derek Tonn

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Are there any dedicated museums to Cartography, large or small?  Not a collection in a library but a dedicated museum?


Nick, it's a bit off-topic, but my dream over the past 10-15 years has been to eventually eek out just enough success/excess from my business to open a small map gallery in some hip, happening town....showing the work of both historical map designs as well as new and beautiful map illustrations that are being developed. One could have a "print" collection, then use a series of flat-panel monitors to display or cycle-through some of the incredible online mapping work that has been done in recent times.

I don't know if I'd be the only person sitting in that type of "gallery" for days on end, all by myself....but I have probably 2,000-2,500+ print maps (wall-mounted maps from the 1930s-1950s, tons of old travel guides and highway maps, etc.) just waiting for a chance to come out of storage and share their beauty with the world!

A person can dream, right?! A map gallery.....and a chance to blast into outer space. Is that too much to ask? ;)
Derek Tonn
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mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
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#9
Kartograph

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If anybody wants some english facts on Justus Perthes:

Wikipedia entry

#10
frax

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hans - i don't get what that GeoFort is about... ?
Hugo Ahlenius
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#11
Hans van der Maarel

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Hugo,

It's meant to let teenagers (i.e. at about the time where they really have to start thinking about what they want to be when they grow up) get in touch with the GIS/cartography/geodesy world. I believe the main focus will be on hands-on experience (GPS treasure hunt comes to mind), which explains the out-of-the-way location.

It's got a lot of support from the geo industry here in Holland (ESRI, to name one). There's been a sharp decline in the number of students in the geo-related fields and some educations had to either close down or merge with other areas (the faculty of geodesy at Delft University merged with civil engineering for example). So this is an opportunity to promote the field as a whole and ensure there will be enough cartographers in the future.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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#12
Dennis McClendon

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The Field Museum in Chicago plans to mount a big exhibit next year called "Maps." They've been working with the curators at the Newberry Library on choosing and borrowing many of the most significant maps of all time.

I'm going to make some inquiries and try to leverage my position as current president of the Chicago Map Society to help them offer some programs about how maps are made today.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#13
JB Krygier

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The Field Museum in Chicago plans to mount a big exhibit next year called "Maps."  They've been working with the curators at the Newberry Library on choosing and borrowing many of the most significant maps of all time.

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There will also, apparently, be a book published related to this exhibit,
called "Maps: Finding our Place in History" (Univ. Chicago Press).


john k.

#14
Maisie

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NACIS: Next year in Chicago?

#15
Nick Springer

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I am starting a project to create a virtual 3D Cartography museum. Anyone interested in getting involved in curating, research, and image gathering should contact me via email or PM for more details.

The project will not pay anything, other than pride and experience :) You must have a broadband connection and fast computer to effectively work on the project. 3D modelling and Photoshop skills are a big plus.

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC





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