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Predicting the WeatherVictorians and the Science of Meteorology$
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Katharine Anderson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226019680

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226019703.001.0001

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Maps, Instruments, and Weather Wisdom

Maps, Instruments, and Weather Wisdom

(p.171) Chapter Five Maps, Instruments, and Weather Wisdom
Predicting the Weather
University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on the visual tools and products of meteorology in an attempt to explore the ideas about precision. Meteorologists experimented eagerly with maps, charts, and cloud cameras, especially from the 1860s on, as new technologies of printing and photography emerged. By analyzing the development of visual methods in relationship to ideas about weather wisdom, the chapter examines forms of knowledge that challenged those of instrument and number. Maps built bridges to a model of knowledge known as weather wisdom, a term for the popular, apparently intuitive insight of sailors and shepherds that seemed to succeed where government weather forecasting failed. Because they embodied the intersection of popular and conventionally scientific approaches to the study of the weather, maps and their counterparts offered a different kind of history of precision.

Keywords:   maps, weather study, weather wisdom, forecasting, scientific approach, precision

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