A collection of unusual maps
December 27, 2007 12:33 PM   Subscribe

A collection of unusual maps from Maps: Finding Our Place in the World by James Akerman and Robert Karrow, including slavery maps of the US from the 19th Century, maps of the voyage of the Pequod from Moby Dick and a mappe of Fairyland. All the maps are available in high resolutions with zoom functioning. [via The Edge of the American West]
posted by Kattullus (12 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
To look at it with modern mores and hindsight of history, I love how the second slavery map has "God's Blessing Liberty" stretching out across the West, with tendrils like "Morality", "Justice", "Equal Rights", "Philanthropy", straight past Oklahoma labeled "Indian Territory".
posted by XMLicious at 1:17 PM on December 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

Strange maps blog.
posted by delmoi at 1:23 PM on December 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

including slavery maps of the US

No small irony that the density of slaves in what is now the Southeastern United States makes these regions appear black on the map. What astonishes me about slavery in the "New World" is the scale of it.
posted by three blind mice at 1:30 PM on December 27, 2007

I always weep a little inside when I run across a map site using "zoomify". Why can't I expand the map into it's full glory?
posted by chips ahoy at 1:52 PM on December 27, 2007

"its", sorry
posted by chips ahoy at 1:53 PM on December 27, 2007

I found the fairyland map with better zoom here. Thanks for the post!
posted by stinkycheese at 2:17 PM on December 27, 2007

Great post, thanks.
posted by desjardins at 4:00 PM on December 27, 2007

This is awesome. Thank you! :)

Further to stinkycheese's link, here is the home page of the Library of Congress Map Collections, which has links to hi-res .jp2 scans of the many and various maps in its collection. This is another particularly interesting one.

And here, at strangemaps, my fellow Australians, is something wonderful. :)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:08 PM on December 27, 2007

A world map from 1507!
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:13 PM on December 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

The Tory Atlas of the World, which is a British version of the United States of My Racist Aunt.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:30 PM on December 27, 2007

Great post! Love the Voyage of the Pequod map.
posted by Shebear at 6:06 AM on December 28, 2007

When I had just graduated from high school I headed off to Britain to backpack for the summer. My father, an Episcopal priest, hooked me up with an Anglican vicar in a tiny Devonshire town to give me a destination in the middle of my trip where I could get my clothes washed, check in and get at least one hot meal that didn't come from a pub. The vicar took me to visit the church one afternoon for a tour. As we were poking around in the sacristy he said, "well, you know, in the years I've been here, I've never looked to see what is locked in the safe in the back vault of the sacristy and here is the key." Off we went with the giant skeletan type key into the vaults of the church to the massive iron box. In went the key and with much force by the two of us to door creaked open.

Inside were the usual silver chalices from the 1400's, yawn, but there was also a stack of manuscript books. Most were old latin texts, probably banned and locked away at some point for making heretical statements like that the host did not actually become flesh or some such, but one book caught out eye. It was a book of maps. Highly iluminated maps, distorted and full of errors in geography and scale. We could just make out by some of the names in Latin and Greek and our limited knowledge of ancient geography, oh, that's Italy, this one's the crimea, ah, the holy land.

When we turned to the inscription page the vicar let out a little gasp as he read the title page, Geographia Ptolemaeus. After we'd marvelled over what we'd found we closed it back up, wrapped it back in the silky cloth that covered it, placed it back in the safe and went home for tea. I've always wondered what sorts of treasures like that litter the vaults of little churches in little villages across Britain.

PS: Years later when laying a new pathway through the church's grave yard, a cave in occured and several workers fell into an unknown vault. Inside, the vicar told us after he was allowed to enter the pit, there were shelves lined with the skeletons of ladies in finery and knights in crusader armor. He said that the armor still shone as if it had been freshly oiled under the layers of dust and that he could make out the deep colors of the ladies dresses. The church had the vault sealed and the path laid over the top before the damned National Trust got wind of the discovery. In the same refurbishment the church found walls of stauary that had been covered with plaster to prevent the hell-bound presbyterians from smashing it. Generations later the statuary had been forgotten and everyone had just assumed that the walls of that part of the church were just plain and had been left so during the church's puritan period.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:44 AM on December 28, 2007 [3 favorites]

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