Latitudes April 2020

April 2020


Due to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic and for the safety of our members, the Washington Map Society has canceled the April 30 lecture by Andrew Rhodes and the Annual Dinner on May 15. We hope to reschedule these events and speakers in the fall.

Additionally, the Annual Meeting was scheduled for the April 30 meeting, in which the officers of the board would give reports and elections would be held for board members whose terms were expiring and several open board seats. The Annual Meeting will also be rescheduled for the fall.

We appreciate your understanding and hope that you are healthy, safe and staying at home.


As everyone copes with the challenges of staying at home, we have been amazed and inspired by all of the free online resources that are now available to educate, inform, entertain, and connect us. Museums, zoos, teachers, theaters, small businesses, and individuals have created online content and experiences, bringing rich resources from around the world to your computer.

Since you are a member of the WMS, you have access to a rich repository of content on the WMS website:  Once you have joined the site you can read every back issue of The Portolan journal, watch over 30 videos of past WMS lectures, read the profiles of your fellow WMS members, reach out and contact fellow WMS members, and much more! All of these are accessible if you click the link on the left-hand side of the site called "For WMS Members Only." Check it out today!

If you need even more cartographic content while you remain confined, you may want to check out some of these other free online resources:

  1. Library of Congress Maps Blog. Both the collections and the staff of the Geography & Map Division of the Library of Congress are incredible resources, and there is a blog dedicated to highlighting some of the maps in their collection. To view the blog click here.
  2. The Bodleian's Map Room Blog. Not to be outdone, the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford also has a blog about "items of interest from the wonderful world of maps." To read the blog click here.
  3. Library of Congress Story Maps. Story Maps are "immersive web applications that tell the incredible stories of the Library’s collections through narrative, multimedia, and interactive maps." Click here for all of the LOC's Story Maps or click here for "Maps that Changed our World."
  4. PJ Mode Collection of Persuasive Cartography. Housed on the Cornell University Library website, this collection of over 800 thoroughly catalogued maps focuses on "maps intended primarily to influence opinions or beliefs." You can view the maps in high resolution, read about each map's historical significance, and even download the map images to your own computer. Click here to view the collection.
  5. "New Projections" Podcast. Curtis Bird, owner of The Old Map Gallery in Denver, Colorado has a podcast that focuses on map-related topics. You can download it though the Apple podcasts app, the Google podcasts app, or listen to it from your computer by clicking here.
  6. Miniature Maps. This "illustrated guide to miniature antique maps, charts, plans and atlases" was created by Geoffrey L. King and is the definitive resource on this subject. Lose yourself in a tiny world by clicking here.
  7. The Map Room Blog. This blog by Jonathan Crowe "covers everything from antique map collecting to the latest in geospatial technology" and represents curated content drawn from all over the internet. You can search through the archive to find specific topics. Click here for the blog.


Do you enjoy holding a print copy of The Portolan?  Do you have a full set, or are you missing some issues?  Have you been an author, and would like to have some additional copies?  Are there some issues with articles you wish you had read?
NOW is the time to act to get those back print copies. As part of a downsizing of inventory in the coming months, notice is given that back copies are now available, but that will change in the coming months. The Society just cannot indefinitely maintain the ability to provide back print copies of The Portolan. The Society has a varying number of copies of individual back issues. All issues are currently available. Once the print copies are sold, that issue will no longer be available in print form, as there is no expectation to do reprints of back issues after they are sold out.
How to find more information of what is available?  Go to to search a full listing of back tables of content, PLUS the ability to examine the index to those issues.  Determine your desires. Then go to to see how back copies are priced and how to order copies.  Be sure to note that for 2 or more copies of the journal (they need not be the same issue), a discount can be computed due to postal cost savings.
Do act NOW, so as not to be disappointed.


Know someone who's not a member of WMS but should be? Share this copy of Latitudes with them, and steer them to