Jump to content

 
Photo

World Ocean Floor map

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1
Steve Sagala

Steve Sagala

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Effort, PA, USA
  • Interests:Graphics, history, politics, science, psychology, etc.
  • United States

Let me begin by admitting that I'm not a cartographer - but I became intimately involved with the people and the process over a period of years.

The World Ocean Floor map represented the culmination of years of effort on the part of Professor Bruce C. Heezen and his partner, Marie Tharp, of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory (currently Earth Observatory). The foundations of this research were a) the tremendous accretion of bathymetric data collected by various institutions and b)the particular alchemy resulting fom the combined talents of Heezen and Tharp.

Ocean mapping data was primarily derived from seismic reflection data acquired by the profiler systems aboard vessels like R.V. Vema and Conrad. Data reduction technicians organized the information by photographic and, later on, digital means. Researchers were then able to select ship tracks in a given area of interest and begin to develop a picture of the topography of the ocean floor. In the case of an earlier map project, this approach led Tharp to rethink previously
held opinions and to forcefully argue for the the idea of sea-floor spreading. Heady stuff coming from the girl who did the drafting.

Looking back, I'm fascinated at the conceptual differential between the analog and digital approaches. In the past, dozens of eyes spent hundreds of hours looking at raw and reduced data intent on piecing together an accurate picture of the bottom. Paper was literally cut-and-pasted
and pen-and-ink drawings generated. As in the digital realm, a certain amount of interpolation was neccessary to fill in the gaps. Eventually a decision had to be made to put down the pens, cap the glue pots and go to press. All this went by the wayside eventually. Shortly before the WOF map came to fruition, I was aboard the R.V. Conrad as the bugs were shaken out of the new multi-channel seismic system. No more sparker and dirty fingers in the drafting room. GIGO replaced the Leroy template and pen.

As for the oil painting, Swiss artist Heinrich Berann of ski-poster fame did the honors. I don't remember exact dimensions but it appeared to be approximately 2/3 the size of the 48"x 96" map.
A black plate with label completed the package and off it went to the printer in Minneapolis, Minnesota who had a press large enough to print it.

I must add this comment: Heezen and Tharp were very representative examples of the "maverick" personality the times required. Marie once told me that certain big-league scientific personages
believed that "color was wicked". I hope that some of the younger cartographers might visit a Lamont-Doherty Open House if possible (see the website: www.ldeo.columbia.edu). Also, a great read in the field would be "Upheaval from the Abyss" by David M. Lawrence.Thanks for your message!

Attached Files



#2
Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

    CartoTalk Editor-in-Chief

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,868 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Netherlands
  • Interests:Cartography, GIS, history, popular science, music.
  • Netherlands

Steve,

I moved the discussion to here, this is not even remotely off-topic ;)

Interesting story, thanks for sharing this. I really enjoy reading about the techniques of old. Regarding this particular map, I have in my collection a "Atlas of the Oceans", in Dutch, published by Tirion, which features the Berann map in combination with more standard hydrographic maps. No idea when it was put together or whether it's available in English as well, but the closeups of Berann's work are gorgeous.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#3
Jean-Louis

Jean-Louis

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 545 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Montreal Quebec
  • Interests:In the vast ocean of my ignorance, I have a few bubbles of interests
  • Canada

Ahhh Berann! I worship the ground he draws...
Jean-Louis Rheault
Montreal


#4
Steve Sagala

Steve Sagala

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Effort, PA, USA
  • Interests:Graphics, history, politics, science, psychology, etc.
  • United States

Steve,

I moved the discussion to here, this is not even remotely off-topic ;)

Interesting story, thanks for sharing this. I really enjoy reading about the techniques of old. Regarding this particular map, I have in my collection a "Atlas of the Oceans", in Dutch, published by Tirion, which features the Berann map in combination with more standard hydrographic maps. No idea when it was put together or whether it's available in English as well, but the closeups of Berann's work are gorgeous.


The painting was utilized in a number of variations - different sizes, information (one was known internally as the "mud map" which displayed sediment concentrations); I believe that all went into the National Archives in Washington. I hope that your country has a greater appreciation for the "soft" side of science i.e. the artistic component, social implications etc. than is sometimes manifested in contemporary American culture. Did you know that most of our stadiums etc. (remember Ebbets Field etc?) are now named after huge multinational sponsors. Nothing wrong with that, as far as it goes; it's just more advertising and less baseball. Regards - SPS

#5
woneil

woneil

    Will O'Neil

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 119 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Falls Church, Virginia
  • United States

I have in my collection a "Atlas of the Oceans", in Dutch, published by Tirion, which features the Berann map in combination with more standard hydrographic maps. No idea when it was put together or whether it's available in English as well, but the closeups of Berann's work are gorgeous.


I've just picked up (quite cheaply) World Atlas of the Oceans, edited by Manfred Lier (Buffalo: Firefly Books, 2001), tr. from Weltatlas der Ozeane (Der Club Bertelsmann, 2000). It sounds a bit like this. It incorporates about 65 plates made from sections of the GEBCO (at varying scales but generally large enough to be clear) plus good reproductions of the Berann charts. The text is largely dispensible but the maps are well reproduced on 13.75" x 10.5" glossy pages.
Will O'Neil
Author and amateur cartographer

http://analysis.williamdoneil.com/w.d.oneil@pobox.com

#6
Steve Sagala

Steve Sagala

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Effort, PA, USA
  • Interests:Graphics, history, politics, science, psychology, etc.
  • United States

There was another member of that family of maps- we referred to it as "the mud map" - covered with symbols indicating some of the character of the sediments in the area. An interesting addendum. Also, the more recent "Anniversary" edition.
Thanks for noticing; Bruce Heezen and Marie Tharp are sorely missed by many who knew them. Please Google Marie sometime - an underappreciated woman scientist and an "original" of the first water. steves

I have in my collection a "Atlas of the Oceans", in Dutch, published by Tirion, which features the Berann map in combination with more standard hydrographic maps. No idea when it was put together or whether it's available in English as well, but the closeups of Berann's work are gorgeous.


I've just picked up (quite cheaply) World Atlas of the Oceans, edited by Manfred Lier (Buffalo: Firefly Books, 2001), tr. from Weltatlas der Ozeane (Der Club Bertelsmann, 2000). It sounds a bit like this. It incorporates about 65 plates made from sections of the GEBCO (at varying scales but generally large enough to be clear) plus good reproductions of the Berann charts. The text is largely dispensible but the maps are well reproduced on 13.75" x 10.5" glossy pages.



#7
woneil

woneil

    Will O'Neil

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 119 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Falls Church, Virginia
  • United States

There was another member of that family of maps- we referred to it as "the mud map" - covered with symbols indicating some of the character of the sediments in the area. An interesting addendum. Also, the more recent "Anniversary" edition.
Thanks for noticing; Bruce Heezen and Marie Tharp are sorely missed by many who knew them. Please Google Marie sometime - an underappreciated woman scientist and an "original" of the first water. steves


I actually met Bruce Heezen in connection with the mud map. I was assigned to what was then the Naval Electronics Laboratory in San Diego in the early 1960s where at one point I was working on bottom-refracted acoustic propagation. Bruce consulted on the project and we had several meetings with him. I remember I was greatly impressed by his knowledge and quick understanding. The name of Marie Tharp also rings a bell but I can't recall at this remove whether I met her or just heard of her.
Will O'Neil
Author and amateur cartographer

http://analysis.williamdoneil.com/w.d.oneil@pobox.com

#8
Dennis McClendon

Dennis McClendon

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,083 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chicago
  • Interests:map design, large-scale maps of cities
  • United States

Did you know that most of our stadiums etc. (remember Ebbets Field etc?) are now named after huge multinational sponsors.

Ummm, what does that have to do with anything? Especially with science or with mapmaking?
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#9
Steve Sagala

Steve Sagala

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Effort, PA, USA
  • Interests:Graphics, history, politics, science, psychology, etc.
  • United States

I am assuming, Mr. McClendon, that as Legendary Contributor you are not attempting to be rude. If you read my post, I was making reference to the idea that science and art both influence culture, and I was not saying that naming a stadium this or that is necessarily reprehensible. I have been privileged to know quite a few scientists and artists and we have had wonderful conversations concerning many topics. I have never heard any of them (especially the creators of the maps under discussion) ask the question you pose. So I'm not quite sure how to answer your question. I think you have taken umbrage about something, and have cleverly hidden the irritant which prompted your reply. Suffice to say that neither science, nor art, nor humans exist in a vacuum, and all of these things evolve over time. The maps that came out of that era were not as accurate and comprehensive as those produced in the last 2 decades. Thank you for your comment.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->