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Thursday, October 18 • 10:40am - 12:00pm
Extreme Mapmaking

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Extreme Mapmaking (part 1/2): Cities and Spies
Presenter: Greg Miller, All Over the Map / National Geographic
This talk (part one of two) will examine two examples from the forthcoming book All Over the Map (National Geographic, 2018). Kowloon Walled City was the densest human settlement that ever existed. This maze-like complex of 14-story buildings in Hong Kong housed tens of thousands of people and its own economy–some of it legitimate, some not. Hitomi Terasawa’s illustrated map captures life inside. During the Cold War the Soviet military secretly mapped the entire world. Soviet city maps note details like the dimensions and load-bearing capacity of bridges–things that would be difficult to know without eyes on the ground.

Extreme Mapmaking (part 2/2): Battlefields and Imaginary Worlds
Presenter: Betsy Mason, All Over the Map / National Geographic
This talk (part two of two) will examine two examples from the forthcoming book All Over the Map (National Geographic, 2018). During WWII, the Allies ran a secret operation to create 3D battlefield models to plan and prepare for key offensives. The scale models were as true-to-life as possible, down to heights of hedgerows and colors of houses, and are credited with saving countless lives. Artist Jerry Gretzinger has spent 35 years mapping an elaborate imaginary world. Jerry’s map is now over 55 feet across and continually evolving based on a deck of mysterious cards that guide his work.

Persistence Cave Project
Presenter: David Lambert, NPS Volunteer
Camels, rattlesnakes, and an angry bison? Find out what these things have in common and a whole lot more, as I discuss my recent cave mapping adventure.

Mapping Middle-earth: Questing for “real facts” in a fictitious world
Presenter: Erik Mueller-Harder, independent scholar
Though most fantasy authors heed Tolkien’s advice to start “with a map, and [make] the story fit,” Tolkien did not — resulting in (predicted) “confusions and impossibilities.” See the perils of making maps where descriptions are data; characters’ conflicting accounts are primary sources; “impressionistic” contour lines are DEMs; and even the author’s conceptions of his world change over time. Forensic mapmakers must beware the lures of conjecture and imagination. For even with databases, map normalization, and vector-based software (all demonstrated!), making Tolkien’s envisioned map of Middle-earth is a quest for the bold. [No familiarity with Tolkien’s works is assumed.]


David Lambert

National Geographic Trails Illustrated
avatar for Betsy Mason

Betsy Mason

Journalist, All Over the Map / National Geographic

Greg Miller

All Over the Map / National Geographic
avatar for Erik Mueller-Harder

Erik Mueller-Harder

Media-terrestrial mapmaker, Tolkienists | Tolkien Art Index
The works of J.R.R. Tolkien, classical music, espresso, linguistics, keyboards (for typing), Macintosh (the Apple computer), cider-making (with lower-case apples),…

Thursday October 18, 2018 10:40am - 12:00pm EDT
Hampton VI-VII