Brown Bag Lecture: Rescaling Geography: Grand Canyon Exploratory and Topographic Mapping, 1777-1978

Riordan Mansion State Historic Park

Monday, October 14, 2019   12:15-1 p.m.

Presented by Matthew Toro, Director of Maps, Imagery, and Geospatial Services | ASU Library

Nobody truly knows the Grand Canyon. The sheer scale of the place prevents anyone from ever seeing it fully, from ever learning all of its secrets. Our best efforts to understand the region holistically come through the abstraction afforded by the science and art of cartography. Maps rescale geography, allowing us to conceptualize space beyond the distances and depths perceived by our senses. This fast-paced presentation will cover the first two hundred years of Grand Canyon exploratory and topographic cartography, starting in 1777 when Grand Canyon was first labeled on a map (albeit with a name far different from what we are accustomed to), and culminating with a 1978 masterpiece that has become known as one of the iconic maps of the region ever created.