Latitudes November 2019

Can't see the images? Click here


Map Society


November 2019




Location: Washington Naval Lodge; 330 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E., Washington DC 20003 (See directly below for instructions on how to find this new location)




"Maps of the Baltic States - Caught Between Empires"

Speaker: Lars Grava, JD. Mr. Grava is a WMS member and works for the World Bank.
Mr. Grava will present selected antiquarian maps of the territories that are now the Baltic States of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, with a focus on his ancestral homeland of Latvia. The collection provides a fascinating insight into a turbulent geographical area which has been subject to the German Teutonic Knights, the Kingdom of Sweden, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire.  Mr. Grava has over 400 maps from all these eras, from a collection begun by his father and carried on by himself.




Our new location for the fall program will be the Washington Naval Lodge No. 4, 330 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Unit 400, about three blocks from the LoC.


Location of Washington Naval Lodge: Just east of the Madison Building of the Library of Congress, Independence Avenue angles to the right and becomes Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. The Washington Naval Lodge is at 330 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. It is on the north side of the street (opposite side from the LoC) between 3rd Street SE and 4th Street SE (although closer to 4th). The street level is occupied by Chevy Chase Bank, roughly across from the BB&T Bank. We will post a WMS sign near the door, so please look for that. The lodge is on the fourth floor at #400. Please note that the elevator is very small and cannot accommodate full-sized wheelchairs. If you need to use the elevator, please arrive a few minutes early.




The Washington Map Society has been invited to a special visit of Mount Vernon that includes several exclusive activities geared towards WMS members.

10:00 AM: Library tour with a talk on Washington's globe and a visit inside the library vault to view cartographic artifacts (Cost: $10 per person)
11:15 AM: Guided tour of the Mansion (Cost: included with library tour)
12:30 PM: Buffet lunch at the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant with fellow WMS members (Cost: $24 per person)

Please note that you are not required to attend all of the activities on the field trip, and you may simply join us for a portion of the itinerary if you prefer.


Advance registration and payment is required for this event, and space is limited to the first 40 people. Due to these space limitations, each WMS member may bring one non-WMS guest. For more details and to register, please contact Eliane Dotson at and indicate the name(s) of the attendee(s) and whether you will be attending all portions of the itinerary or only select activities. To pay by check, please make the check payable to Washington Map Society and mail to Peter Porrazzo, WMS Treasurer, 1924 Tysons Trace Dr, Vienna, VA 22182. If you would like to pay by PayPal or credit card, please indicate that in your registration email to Eliane and she will send you instructions. Please note that there is a $1 service fee for paying by PayPal or credit card.




  • 26 March 2020 – Cassandra Farrell, Library of Virginia:  Vacationing in Virginia, 19th Century Style: Plan of Fauquier White Sulphur Springs with Proposed Building Lot
  • April 2020 – exact date and speaker TBD
  • 15 May 2020 – Washington Map Society 41st Annual Dinner, featuring guest speaker Dr. Larry Tise, co-author of Theodore de Bry—America: The Complete Plates from 1590-1602



Welcome to our newest WMS members:
Edith Crockett
Kitty Donnelly
Luis Robles Macias
Rick Myrland
Asad Ramzanali
Andrew Rhodes
Luis Suter
Jeanne Young
David Zipper





The Board of Directors of the WMS held a full-day offsite on October 19 to identify the issues facing the society and to generate ideas on how better to serve our members. Many thanks to WMS Treasurer Pete Porrazzo and his wife Bernice for hosting the group and especially to Bernice for sharing her amazing cooking! If you have any ideas on how to improve the WMS, we want to hear from you - please email WMS President, Eliane Dotson at





You can consult the WMS website for all sorts of useful information, such as:
Meeting Schedule and Information:
Videos of past presentations for members:
Copies of all past issues of The Portolan, including High Resolution editions for the past 39 issues:





Book Talk with Susan Schulten: A History of America in 100 Maps, Library of Virginia, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia. 19 November 2019. Event is free and open to the public.


Join author and historian Susan Schulten for a talk on her latest book, A History of America in 100 Maps. Throughout its history, America has been defined through maps. Whether made for military strategy or urban reform, to encourage settlement or to investigate disease, maps invest information with meaning by translating it into visual form. They capture what people knew, what they thought they knew, what they hoped for, and what they feared. As such they offer unrivaled windows onto the past. In this book, Schulten uses maps to explore five centuries of American history, from the voyages of European discovery to the digital age. Some of these maps were made by established cartographers, while others were made by unknown individuals such as Cherokee tribal leaders, soldiers on the front, and the first generation of girls to be formally educated. Some were tools of statecraft and diplomacy, and others were instruments of social reform or even advertising and entertainment. But when considered together, they demonstrate the many ways that maps both reflect and influence historical change. A book signing will follow the talk.


Kroch Rare Book Library, Cornell University Library, 216 East Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850. Latitude: Persuasive Cartography from the PJ Mode Collection. Through 21 February 2020.



Long-time WMS member PJ Mode has donated his collection of Persuasive maps to Cornell University, his alma mater.  These “persuasive” maps are focused on shaping decisions and desired outcomes. They employ a variety of tools and strategies—unusual projections and coloring, selective inclusion, imaginative illustration, allegory, satire, and even intentional deception—to advance a particular cause or point of view. Spanning from the 18th century to the present, many of the maps on display illuminate historical perspectives on topics that still resonate today, such as immigration policy and political gerrymandering. Others seek to foster social change, promote products and places, or send warnings about imagined futures. From the past to the present, Latitude helps us understand how ideas and opinions are shaped by data visualization techniques. For more information:


WMS Member Exhibit: The Stories Maps Tell, Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church, 6601 Bradley Boulevard, Bethesda, Maryland. Through November 2019, by appointment.


Long-time WMS member Steve Fox has curated an exhibit of maps that tell the story of his life as a Peace Corps Volunteer and Foreign Service Officer. An early aficionado of maps, Steve has collected maps of each of the places he's lived and served over his career. Each of the maps is framed and accompanied by an explanation of the map's meaningfulness. The exhibit is located in a gallery within the Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church in Bethesda. If you would like to view the exhibit, please call Steve Fox directly at 301-956-5324. If you would like to take a “virtual tour,“ you may email Steve at He’ll send images of the maps and of the commentary that he has written about each.



George Washington University Museum, 702 21st Street, NW; Washington, DC; Best Laid Plans: Designs for a Capital City. Through 22 December 2019.


Every landmark in Washington, D.C., has a story. Some never made it past the drawing board. This exhibition examines unrealized designs for the Washington Monument, Memorial Bridge, and other structures around the city through historical prints and paintings from the museum’s Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection. More info at


American Philosophical Society (APS), 104 S. 5th Street Philadelphia, PA 19106. Mapping a Nation: Shaping the Early American Republic. April 12 – December 29, 2019.



This exhibit traces the creation and use of maps in the colonies and young republic from the mid-18th century through 1816. It features historical maps, surveying instruments, books, manuscripts, and other objects to show how maps were used to create and extend the physical, political, and ideological boundaries of the new nation. Details at




S.T. Lee Gallery, Weston Library, Oxford University, UK.  Talking Maps.


The Bodleian Libraries’ summer 2019 exhibition is a celebration of maps and the stories they tell. Drawing on the Bodleian’s unparalleled map collection, Talking Maps brings together an extraordinary collection of


ancient, pre-modern and contemporary maps in a range of media as well as showcasing fascinating imaginary, fictional and war maps. The exhibition will explore how maps are neither transparent objects of scientific communication, nor baleful tools of ideology, but rather proposals about the world that help people to understand who they are by describing where they are. Highlights on show include the Gough Map, the earliest surviving map showing Great Britain in a recognizable form, the Selden Map, a late Ming map of the South China Sea, and fictional maps by CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. July 2019 - February 2020.


Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Boston; America Transformed: Mapping the 19th Century - Part I (The U.S. Pushes Westward: Mapping America 1800-1862); May – December 2019. Part II (From Homesteads to Modern Cities, 1862-1900); November 2019 – May 2020.


During the 19th century, the U.S. expanded dramatically westward. Immigrant settlers rapidly spread across the continent and transformed it, often through violent or deceptive means, from ancestral Native lands and borderlands teeming with diverse communities to landscapes that fueled the rise of industrialized cities.


Historical maps, images and related objects tell the story of the sweeping changes made to the physical, cultural, and political landscape. Moving beyond the mythologized American frontier, this map exhibition explores the complexity of factors that shaped our country over the century.


Miami International Map Fair, 101 West Flagler Street, Miami, Florida; 13-15 March 2020.


This is the 27th Annual Miami International Map Fair and the event will be held again at HistoryMiami but on a new weekend due to the Superbowl being held in Miami in February 2020. This is truly one of the best map fairs in the world (likely THE best) and offers three days of events. It kicks off on Friday 13 March with a VIP preview sale and cocktail reception, which is only for those who registered for the full weekend. There will be over 30 map dealers from around the world exhibiting thousands of maps, atlases, globes, and prints, as well as a lecture series. For more information and registration, go to


More Opportunities:
Many more events are listed on the web site known simply as Cartography Calendars, operated for many years by WMS member John Docktor. Go to (note relatively new address) and select the page you wish to see, i.e., Calendar of Meetings and/or Calendar of Exhibitions.


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



Cartographic Quotations

"A map does not just chart, it unlocks and formulates meaning; it forms bridges between here and there, between disparate ideas that we did not know were previously connected."

Reif Larsen
The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet


Copyright © 2019 Washington Map Society, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are an active member of the Washington Map Society.

Our mailing address is:

Washington Map Society

3158 Gracefield Rd, Apt 103

Silver Spring, MD 20904-0817

Add us to your address book

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp