Dear Fellow Map Enthusiast:
The Washington Map Society employs four digital channels to communicate with its membership. Richard Moore and Bert Johnson steward our Facebook page. Bert sends the monthly and very charming Latitudes newsletter. John Docktor authors his events and exhibits listing site. And I am webmaster for www.washmapsocity.org, the subject of this article. The only requirements to join the site are membership in WMS, first and last name, and your email address. If you haven’t already, please join!
Members log into the site from 28 US states, District of Columbia, three provinces in Canada, United Kingdom, Malta, Croatia, Netherlands, Italy, and South Africa. We have 151 registered members, and in November we will celebrate our 4th anniversary online.
Your constantly evolving website offers many capabilities. Importantly, one can vary the size of the type and enhance legibility on your screen with the ctrl+ or ctrl- key combinations.
- Menus to all content.
- Announcements at top which rotate off as they become stale.
- General home page content.
- Latest profile updates and geographic distribution of members who joined site. Also “Where they are now?” One can click on a geographic location, see a list of members in that area, and then send a private message.
- Links to WMS Facebook page (wonderful fun!) and LOC Blog (also great fun).
- Link to 30 or so must read articles uniquely submitted to Washington Map Society by Eliane Dotson, VP WMS.
- Link to John Docktor’s extremely comprehensive and current listing of exhibits and events around the world.
About Us and FAQ pages: Story and purpose of WMS; Member benefits; Ristow prize; Articles about history of the society; Answers to questions for visitors; Story of our logo; Listing of Officers, Directors, and copy of by-laws. May I recommend heartily Bill Stanley’s three part retrospective, “35 Year Retro Article” which reminds us of the beauty of volunteerism and how it has propelled the Society to progress over almost a half century.
WMS Meetings: Description of upcoming meetings and listing of past meeting topics.
The Portolan Journal:
- Description of Journal. Embedded in this page is a link to the searchable alpha and chronological index of every Portolan ever published. Also some fun articles are linked.
- Map Links: Starting with issue 95 we list links (URL’s) from Portolan articles (where rights permit) so you don’t have to manually type often long and cryptic web addresses.
- Sanders’ CartoNotes: Tom’s listing of carto articles, complete with links to original sources.
- Portolan Indexes: Tables of contents and indexes for 95 issues (also buried on this page beyond the vigilant eyes of Editor Tom Sander is a definition of the editors myriad duties).
- Additional menus contain Where to read, Article submission guidelines, Book review program, Advertising in the Portolan, and Back issue purchase.
Membership in WMS (Join or Renew): Application form, Payment instructions, Description of the many benefits of the WMS.
Member Only Section (password protected – only open to members who have joined the site): Membership directory; Photo galleries; Member profiles (Each member can give information and photos about occupation, memberships, map collecting interests, articles or books written, etc.) Address, phone, and email are hidden by default. The profile section offers private messaging from member to member.
Articles, WMS VP Eliane Dotson: A unique to WMS compendium of articles by Eliane and Jon Dotson, and Joe McAlhany containing very interesting reading on a broad range of subjects.
Tons of Map Info! (Under this menu is a stew of selections): Articles by WMS authors; Recent Publications (searchable document of all of Joel Kovarsky’s listings over the last several years); Maps in DC area (but you should really see John Docktor’s site for the best info); Interesting Links; Videos.
New to Maps? Our newest page (still under construction) on which we give to new map enthusiasts links to the most basic resources.
In Memory: These obituaries recognize the founders and interesting members of WMS. In conjunction with Bill Stanley’s “35 Year Retro Article” (under the “About Us” menu) one begins to understand the historic depth and breadth of knowledge, dedication, and experience that makes our society what it is today.
Live Chat option (bottom right of home page). Do you see another member online? You can initiate a chat session here.
Member Function Section: Here you manage your personal settings such as notifications of profile changes, picture uploads, access our message center, edit your contact and profile info, and more.
Additional commentary about password protection, profile and contact info: By default contact info and profile are password protected. Profile is visible only to registered members of site and NOT visible to public or search engines, however each registered member has option to show Profile to general public. Member password is invisible to everyone but can be reset by this administrator. Each registered member has option to show phone and/or address to other registered members, but contact info is never visible to non-registered members or search engines.
A website is subject to constant evolution (tinkering), so some pages may not be exactly as described. Your webmaster welcomes suggestions which you can send via the “Contact Us” button on the home page.
We hope you feel well informed!