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Introduction to the Map Library
MSU Campus Today
An up-to-date interactive map of MSU's campus. Think about how well the map recreates the experience of being on campus and moving across campus. Which elements are here and which are missing?
Michigan State College in the mid 1900s
This website has several maps of Michigan State College from 1926 to 1955
Familiar Places - Unusual Views
Negro Motorist Green Book locations in Detroit
Maps the location of dozens of businesses listed over several years in the famous Negro Motorist Green Book. History, memory and culture can separate us from what we see today in this location compared to what we see on a map.
Farm Peoples of Michigan
A 1945 map of ethnic group concentrations in Michigan, with a focus on rural lands. When you live in a community you might be an insider or outsider of an ethnic enclave. Though diluted over time, people carry the knowledge and the memory of the enclave with them. There is a book called The Geography of Nowhere which characterizes generic "man-made" commercial landscapes. A visitor arriving in town might only see the chain restaurants and the same-ness of other towns. However the local residents also see the history and shared events of a place.
Presettlement vegetation of Michigan
This mappng project re-creates the forest cover and vegetation that existed circa 1800, prior to extensive European-American settlement. Soil type combined with climate favors certain vegetation types.
Soviet made map of Michigan. How does it make you feel to see people from a different country and culture exhibit intimate knowledge of your familiar place?
Glaciers of Michigan
Between 1 million and 10,000 years ago Michigan was repeated covered with glaciers. They left behind huge piles of gravel and soil as they melted. While some people look at the Michigan countryside, some see plains, hills, trees, grass, fences, and roads. Others see the underlying features which decided what goes on top.
Perspectives of the World
Kitab Rujar, first drawn in 1154 by Al-Idrisi and reproduced in Cairo in 1456 by 'Alî ibn Hasan al-Hûfî al-Qâsimî. This copy is in the French National Library and is available in Wikimedia Commons
Map of the World
Map of the world taken from an Arabian manuscript of Al Edrisi in the Bodleian Library. Adapted in 1800 by Dr. Vincent for a British audience, notice that north is now "up." Made available by the National Library of Australia.
Perspectives of the world
He mau palapala aina, a me na niele e pili ana. Hookahi ke pai ana
What do Hawaiians accentuate on a world map? Notice the loving detail to ALL the islands of the South Pacific and the careful labeling of waterways in general compared to land
Kankai kōro shinzu / 環海航路新圖
This map, published in 1862 in Kyoto accentuates ocean routes around the world.
This is a classic early 20th century view of the world from a western powers perspective. The map's projection accentuates and exaggerates the size of the northern hemisphere land areas, and nations are shaded by which major power controls it.
Map of Paradise
European map maker's favorite way of looking at the Middle East is through the lens of the Christian Bible. This map imposes supposed or known biblical locations on a contemporary map of the Middle East. Carte de la situation du paradis terrestre, et des païs habitez par les patriarches. Made by Pierre-Daniel Huet and Pierre Mortier. Published in Amsterdam in 1700.
Les possessions de l'Empire Ottoman en Europe
A 1700 map of the Ottoman Empire by Zadig Khanzadyan.
Nouvelle carte generale des provinces asiatiques de L'empire Ottoman : sans L'Arabie
A French language map of the Ottoman Empire published in Berlin in 1884. The northern provinces of Greece are marked as non-Ottoman, which certainly would not have been the Sultan’s opinion. Recognizes British takeover of Egypt.