Category Archives: The Map Vault
2015 is the United Nations International Year of Soils
The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS 2015). In honor of this, here are two soil maps from the Williams & Heintz Map Vault.
Why International Year of Soils?
Soils are a finite natural resource and are nonrenewable on a human time scale. Soils are the foundation for food, animal feed, fuel and natural fiber production, the supply of clean water, nutrient cycling and a range of ecosystem functions. The area of fertile soils covering the world’s surface is limited and increasingly subject to degradation, poor management and loss to urbanization. Increased awareness of the life-supporting functions of soil is called for if this trend is to be reversed and so enable the levels of food production necessary to meet the demands of population levels predicted for 2050. Soil Science Society of America
The FAO/UNESCO Soil Map of the World has published soil maps of continents and large regions at 1:5 000 000 scale. They would look great as print maps! 😉
February 2, the day the groundhog comes out in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania to try and see his shadow. Groundhog’s Day has it’s roots in ancients Europe. it is the modern manifestation of Imbolc, Bridgets Day, and Candlemas.
About this time, where I live in Maryland, you can note that the days are getting longer. I can imagine the seeds stirring in the ground, under the mud and ice, ready for the warm spring rains. This is why if the groundhog sees his shadow, we have six more weeks of winter. The story goes that if he sees his shadow, then we will still have the cold winter. It he does not see his shadow then the spring rains are here, ans spring will quickly follow. This year Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, though he is quite handsome in the video!
The first official Groundhog Day excursion in the Punxsutawney, PA took place in 1888.
Phil is pictured above, posing on a 1988 edition of the Pennsylvania road map, from the Williams & Heintz Map Vault.This map was, published H. M. Gousha.
A Rand McNally sales executive, Harry Mathias Gousha, started the company 1926. H. M. Gausha Maps was one of the big three map companies, along with General Drafting and Rand McNally.
H.M. Gousha Maps was aquired by Rand McNally in 1996. This particular copy of the map was copyrighted in 1987, and printed in 1988, an distributed by Arrow Publishing Co., Inc.
So, I hope you have a Mappy Groundhogs Day! May the tradition of printing maps and predicting weather with rodents continue!
“Oh, you’re a map printer, I’m so sorry!”
That’s the kind of response I frequently hear when I tell people what I do. They see all the GPS and cell phone map apps and think only of road maps that they don’t know how to read.
Well there are a lot of other kinds of maps out there to print, besides road maps. Here are a few, click on the tiles below to see the larger image and a little bit about them.
Here’s another thing, all those different kinds of maps were printed over 30 years ago, made by hand, with cameras and film. I scanned them off an old Williams & Heintz marketing piece; so old it doesn’t even have anything about a web site or email contact.
Just think what we can do now with computers, the internet, available data, and digital mapping tools! (more about that in a later post)
All these new tools make cartography and map making more available, to many more people, to publish more maps.
And some of these great maps even make it to print on paper.
When you want to see the big picture, nothing beats a big map on a big piece of paper.
It’s a great time to be a map printer!
Over on our facebook page, Williams & Heintz has a new “like”, and it came with the most Awesome link! Jack Kittle, of Decatur, Georgia, found 1927-1930 topographic maps of Atlanta. Our name is listed in the lower right hand corner. Here is the link, that will take you to the Digital Gallery at Emory University. They have 75 pages of the City of Atlanta tax plat maps that we printed when my great grandfather first got into the map printing business.
Company lore has it that, one of our original jobs as a map company was engraving, (copper plate), and printing, (stone lithography), tax plats for cities, of which Atlanta was one. Without accurate maps, the cities were losing revenue, because they didn’t know who to send the bill to.
Jack Says, “I first ran into copies of these maps at the DeKalb History Center. Their copies are from the DeKalb County Planning Department. New developments – streets and buildings – were carefully added in black ink until sometime in the 1950s. This fits the tax plat scenario. Note that this usage was not in the City of Atlanta, rather in the area to the east.”
International Women’s day is March 8 and March is Women’s History Month – What Role Have Women Played in the History of Mapmaking?
Many women’s organizations and governments around the world observe International Women’s Day annually on March 8th. The United States designates the whole month of March as Women’s History Month. The role of women in the history of mapmaking reminds us to celebrate the accomplishments of women and girls throughout history, and the need to keep working to ensure that women’s equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life, all over the map.
Judith Tyner, Professor Emerita of Geography, California State University, Long Beach, has researched and shared a lot of the history of women in cartography. She says that Women have played many roles in the history of cartography. There are the usual assumptions, marginal activities, traditional woman’s roles of piece work that could be done at home: coloring maps, map folding, and stitching atlases. In the 19th century, women taught geography, maps, and “the use of the globes” to privileged young ladies. The usual way that women would become involved in mapmaking business, was through family. The map trades, printing, and engraving have traditionally been family businesses.
But when you examine maps for the names of engravers, publishers and printers, you discover that women have been involved in cartography from the early days of mapping. Women were publishers, map sellers, cartographers, drafters, editors, engravers, globemakers, printers, colorists, folders, stitchers, teachers of map reading and mapmaking, cartographic historians, map librarians, and patrons of cartography!
“By the beginning of the twentieth century, the identities of cartographers and map traders had become even more obscure. Large cartographic firms such as Rand McNally and Hammond formed and began using wax engraving and lithography techniques; map engravers and compilers no longer signed their maps. As companies grew, few retained records… Over time old records were destroyed in the name of efficiency.”
This fits with what I have recently learned about Williams & Heintz, from my cousin Jeanette Schuder, about my Great Aunt Ruth, Born Ruth Lillian Heintz (1913 – 2011)
“Her father co-owned the William and Heintz Company, a lithographic business in DC. She worked for her dad’s company as a topographical engineer and she drew maps of Bakersfield, California and other new cities. She also worked for the Geological Survey and drew the original maps of the unmapped territory of the Yukon.”
Ruth was married August 22, 1936, so I figure that her work as a mapmaker was in the early 1930s. A quick google search for “Bakersfield CA map 1930s” yields these maps, from the University of Texas Libraries, that may be some of the maps that she worked on.
Even before the second World War, women were encouraged to work as cartographers and cartographic drafters. During the war, they were hired to replace the men, due to the wartime demand for maps. Government agencies in the U. S. were hiring women because they recognized that our maps were out of date and had insufficient coverage. Women were preferred for drafting, computing and photogrametry. Collections were scattered. Map librarians played an important role in the collection and distribution of maps for the war effort.
Women did not give up cartography after the war. They were successful, and continued to take advantage of trainings at universities, and job opportunities. Marie Tharp was encouraged to study geology and drafting, she made important contributions to mapping. You can read about them in Honoring Marie Tharp, Oceanographic Cartographer, for International Women’s Day
Today, women work in all aspects of the mapping industry, from GIS to map printing. Since World War II, we have seen the greatest rise in the number of women involved in the field. However, continued vigilance and action is still necessary to ensure that women’s equality is gained and maintained.
Mary Beth Smith, of “Girls Who Print” said, in response to an example of blatant discrimination in the work place today,
” Lets work together. Let the ignorant know that their behavior is neither admired nor tolerated. Show your spouses, your daughters, your sons, and everyone in your orbit your conviction that this is unacceptable behavior. Isn’t it time we stopped acting like this doesn’t happen? Do we not WANT young people and women to bring their gifts, talents, training and expertise to an industry sorely in need of a fresh approach?”
Tyner, Judith, “The Hidden Cartographers: Women in Mapmaking,” Mercator’s World, volume 2, number 6, November/December 1997, pp. 46-51.
Tyner, Judith, “Millie the Mapper and Beyond: The Role of Women in Cartography Since World War II,” Meridian – Map and Geography Round Table of the American Library Association No. 15 1999 pp23-28.
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet. But what about that place on the map?
In Shakespeare’s play, Juliet asks Romeo,
“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
But what about that place on the map? Place names are often contested. For example, the Persian Gulf is a name that has been in use for a long time. Arabian Gulf is a relatively new name for the same place, that some Iranians object to.
The Sea of Japan is most commonly used to identify the body of water between Japan and the Korean Peninsula and China. The Republic of Korea would prefer that it was called the East Sea.
Map makers, who do not wish to make a political statement with their cartography, will often go out of their way to make the map so that the name or boundary is not included, or is not legible, to stay out of the conflict. When the issue came to our attention, we dug back into the Map Vault at Williams & Heintz to see if we could find any older map, to see what was on it. Sure enough, this Tectonic Map of China and Mongolia, that we printed for the Geological Society of America, in 1974 has the name of the sea conveniently omitted.
Now, I firmly believe that some old place names are better changed: place names that are racist, or sexist would smell much sweeter without an offensive name. My view of political names is, “a rose would smell as sweet.”
What do you think?
Beginning in the 1950’s and 60’s Williams & Heintz Map specialized in making, and printing geologic maps. For advertisement, we ran a Geologic Quiz Series in a publication for geologists called the GEOTIMES. This is the First one.
Quality and service; that was valuable back then too.
Heinrich Berann is considered the father of the modern panoramic map.
In the 1960s, Heinrich Berann painted a series of posters commissioned by the United States National Park Service. Greater Yellowstone was one of these that was printed by Williams & Heintz.
At Williams & Heintz, the story has it that, the head of publications for the National Park Service, Vincent Gleason, actually went up in a small plane with Berann. They flew around Yellowstone, as Berann made the sketches that became the basis of his painting.
The color separations for printing where made from the actual painting itself, at Mueller Color Plate, in Minneapolis, on a process camera.
The posters are available at the US Government Bookstore.
Matthias Troyer, a grandson of H.C. Berann, maintains a website of Berann’s work.
Williams & Heintz Map Corp. has been printing maps for entrepreneurs, government agencies and map publishers since 1921. We printed this 1930 map of Florida for the National Geographic Society. Back then we did business under the name of Williams & Heintz Co., Lithographers.
Sure was a lot more swamp land then! And no major interstate highways to travel. I am intrigued that the insets all show railroad hubs. Back in the thirties, an employee at Williams & Heintz took a road trip south, to visit with a long lost relative, and was gone for six months!
What would it look like today if the interstate highway systems had not been developed?
Spencer Fleury has an interesting blog post about abandoned rail roads in Florida, and their use.
Williams & Heintz Map Corp. printed the Tectonic Map of Mexico in 1961 for the Geological Society of America. The map was compiled by Zoltan de Czerna. The Bathymetry was compiled by Bruce C. Heezen. The preparation of the base map and final drafting was done by David Saldaña. They spent the years from 1956 to 1959 compiling and preparing this map.
After printing, we would inspect each individual sheet. Because even though this is a multi-color map, it was printed on only a two color press, a more common press in the early 1960’s. This required the paper to be fed through the press multiple times. The difficulty was, that if the paper did not feed into the press exactly the same every time, it would result in a misregistration of the image. Since the run lengths of these jobs was rarely more than several hundred we used to run a significant amount of overs and when the job was finished each sheet would be individually inspected to catch the misregistered sheets.
This level of inspection is not possible with runs in the millions, so today it’s a good thing we have six color presses.
For more information on print registration and map colors see: