Maps and beyond

On one of my visits to the Brooklyn Historical Society my peers and I had the opportunity learn from a maps specialist. After we entered the great reading room and signed-in, the historians directed us to gather at the perimeters of the reading space adjacent to the entrance of the room. As I walked towards the shelves I realized numerous large scale papers across them as well and on a few of the tables too. By my estimates each was about 24×18. In addition to the size I also noticed the colors, which varied from map to map, and ultimately gave me the impression that the times of documents ranged many decades apart from one another.

The map historian began with an introduction of herself and her specialty. Then she should the group maps of the subway system and the ones from the past. I was immediately intrigued by the maps especially because I myself enjoy collecting maps. Then we began to move down the perimeter and studied each map one by one. Another thing which caught my eye was the detail drawn on the maps. The most amazing thing was the fact this was all done by hand, and I wondered how long this might have taken whoever worked on these maps.

After we had gone through each map the historian layout for us and studied from each detail discussed in the group I was able to think about the importance of maps and the many purposes they serve. I realized maps were not only made to navigate around an area, but to also document the development of such area. In addition maps may also be used to showcase populations in sections, housing from industrial and so on. In regards to architecture maps serve a significant amount. Maps may be used as site analyzes, which is the study of an area in which it is to build. Site analyzes is the foundation of a design, so are other types of maps because they contribute to the site analyzes.

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