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Maps and Legends

Maps and Legends

(p.131) Chapter Four Maps and Legends
Novel Science
Adelene Buckland
University of Chicago Press

The geological map was a form that could offer critical information on the structure of the land, such as the presence of coal, minerals, and building materials from deep within the earth's crust. In turn, this was beneficial to mine owners, engineers, and architects. It wasn't until the nineteenth century, however, that European geologists would evolve a powerful visual vocabulary that would enable them to render an entire region in three-dimensional terms. The first geological map of an entire country would be published in 1815 by William Smith, a Yorkshire canal surveyor. Smith's work would be plagiarized by George Bellas Greenough for the Geological Society for the purpose of empirical research for the new science, and to galvanize the Society's new research program. Greenough knew that it would be via these maps that geologists could make their most successful lobbies for public support.

Keywords:   geological map, European geologists, lobbies, William Smith, George Bellas Greenough, Geological Society, public support

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