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Disease, Expansion, and the Rise of Environmental Mapping

Disease, Expansion, and the Rise of Environmental Mapping

Chapter:
(p.79) Chapter 3 Disease, Expansion, and the Rise of Environmental Mapping
Source:
Mapping the Nation
Author(s):
Susan Schulten
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226740706.003.0004

Historical mapping was used to illustrate the nation's territorial legitimacy and coherence. The birth of the American Republic stimulated cartographic experiments, the first of which focused on mapping climate and weather. As cartographic endeavors, climatology and meteorology sought to correlate and identify patterns in the distribution of rainfall, temperature, pressure, and winds. This chapter focuses on the advent of environmental mapping in America and the application of maps to chart disease at a time when the new nation had its sights on expansion. It examines the legacy of Alexander von Humboldt in American cartography and looks at the “Washington Map of the United States,” the first edition of which was published by Matthew Maury, superintendent of the Naval Observatory, in 1860.

Keywords:   climate, weather, meteorology, environmental mapping, America, disease, expansion, Alexander von Humboldt, cartography, Matthew Maury

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