|New York Map Society
Our Primary Meeting Place:
The New York Map Society most often holds its lectures on Tuesday
or Wednesday evenings at the New York Public Library's Stephen A.
Schwarzman [Main] Building at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue.
Meetings there are free and open to the public, but space limitations
may require an RSVP to attend.
Field trips to map sites, special events, and occasional lectures may
held on weekends. Some events are reserved for current-paid
members only, and some field trips are at venues that may require
an admission fee.
Our Secondary Meeting Place:
Avenues: The World School, Headquarters, 11 East 26th Street,
between Madison and Fifth Avenues. RSVPs are requested.
See our "Map Exhibitions" page for map-related events in the New
York area and beyond. Contact the sponsoring organization for further
details about those events.
Saturday, April 28, 2 pm: Mark Monmonier will speak
on "Patents and Plato: Map-related Patents in
General, and One Clever Inventor in Particular."
This free and open-to-the-public event will be held at
Avenues: The World School, 17th Floor, 11 East 26th St.
(between Madison and Fifth Avenues), New York City.
RSVP to MapSocietyNY@gmail.com
Mark Monmonier is Distinguished Professor of Geography
at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, specializing
in toponymy, geography, and geographic information
"Map historians have paid little attention to patents even
though the patents system serves as a parallel literature
similar in many ways to cartography’s traditional scientific
literature of technical/academic journals. A search for
map-related patents issued by the U.S. Patent Office from
the mid-nineteenth century through the middle third of the
twentieth century uncovered over 300 patents for devices
intended to promote the use of maps and map
information. Principal areas of invention include
georeferencing, route following, map folding, map
projection, and globes. That most of these patents were
never manufactured or licensed suggests that the patents
system not only creates an intellectual property right but
also satisfies an innovator’s need for official recognition
by an organization that vets useful ideas. Particularly
emblematic is John Byron Plato (1876 – 1966), whose
1915 patent for a method that assigned rural residences a
unique address led to the Index Map Company, an Ithaca,
New York, firm he ran from 1918 to 1931. His invention
and entrepreneurial venture reflects a diverse career as a
soldier, draftsman, manufacturer, lumber yard manager,
school teacher, and farmer. After his business failed in the
early years of the Great Depression, he arrived in
Washington and worked for several years as a
cartographic consultant of sort to the Agricultural
Adjustment Administration. In 1936, after his patent had
expired, a group of Ithaca businessmen produced largely
similar maps until 1941."
Mark Monmonier's website.
Department of Geography
Saturday, May 5, 2018, 2 pm: New York Map Society member
Leslie Trager will present “Henry Hudson: Cree History and
This free and open-to-the-public event will be held at Avenues: The
World School, 17th Floor, 11 East 26th St. (between Madison and
Fifth Avenues), New York. RSVP to MapSocietyNY@gmail.com
Leslie's book relates, for the first time, Cree and Inuit history as they
encountered Hudson during his exploration of Hudson Bay, based
upon information given to a pilot who flew many trips into the
Hudson Bay area when he was transporting material to radar sites
set up in Northern Canada during the late '50's and '60's. The
author learned this information from the pilot because both had an
interest in Hudson and were members of the Explorers Club. The
book describes how the Cree witnessed the mutiny and rescued
Hudson and his remaining men. The book also shows that
knowledge of the Hudson Bay area existed before Hudson arrived
there in 1610 based on maps existing years before that date showing
Hudson Bay. It also examines the Champlain Map of 1632 and
demonstrates that the part showing the eastern portion of Hudson
Bay shows the land as it looked thousands of years before Hudson
got to Hudson Bay. The author estimates that the map on which the
Champlain map is based was surveyed at least 3000 years earlier.
The book also shows that Hudson most likely had some of these
early maps in his possession when he went to Hudson Bay.
Saturday morning in June, 2018: Members-Only Field Trip and
Program-Year-End Social Hour: details TBD
Saturday, April 28, 2018, 3:30 pm: General Meeting of all New York Map Society
members. Venue: Avenues: The World School, 17th Floor, 11 East 26th St. (between
Madison and Fifth Avenues), New York City.
Immediately following Mark Monmonier's talk, there will be a general meeting of members
of the New York Map Society, with current paid members eligible to vote for officers, if they
have not already voted their proxies via email. RSVP to MapSocietyNY@gmail.com