Maps in Our Lives
The Library of Congress presents Maps in Our Lives, an exhibition in recognition of a thirty-year partnership between the Library's
Geography and Map Division and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping
(ACSM), the nation's primary professional organization dedicated to the nation's
surveying and mapping activities. This exhibition explores four constituent
professions represented by the ACSM - surveying, cartography, geodesy, and
geographic information systems (GIS), and draws on both the Library's historic
map collections and the ACSM collection in the Library of Congress.
The surveying section of this exhibition features maps illustrating the historical
evolution in surveying with maps of George Washington's farm executed between
1760 and 1999. The cartographic section highlights more than forty
from the ACSM's annual map design competition and exemplifies notable advances
in cartographic interpretation, design, and production over the last twenty-two
years. The portion of the exhibit about geodesy (the science that determines
precise locations on the earth's surface, such as latitude and longitude) demonstrates
the value of geodetic surveying and its impact on our daily lives. The exhibit
also features a video that provides a historical and spatial comparison of
the surveying maps featured in this exhibit. These maps are overlaid with contemporary
GIS data of the same area and show the power of GIS in presenting and interpreting
the landscape over time.
The exhibit opens on September 14, 2005 in front of the Geography and Map Division.
Located on the Basement level of the Madison Building of the Library of Congress.
About the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping:
The American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) was formed in 1941 to better coordinate the nation's surveying and mapping activities. The cartographers, geodesists, surveyors, and other spatial data information professionals who participate in the four Member Organizations of ACSM work in both the public and private sectors. These professionals make the Earth's geospatial information more easily understood by their fellow citizens through the plats, charts, maps, and digital cartographic and related data systems they provide.
Member Organizations of ACSM:
American Association for Geodetic Surveying: Geodesy is the art and science that uses mathematical and scientific determinations to express the figure and size of the earth. It has been used throughout history to define the position of objects and living beings on the earth's surface.
Cartography and Geographic Information Society: Cartography is the art and science of expressing graphically the physical features of the earth. Cartographic products such as maps and charts can express virtually any subject within a geographic context.
Geographic and Land Information Society: Geographic and Land Information Systems are a digital compilation of various data about, in general, parcels of land, and towns, cities, and counties. These systems provide critical information to first responders, landowners, and land planners.
National Society of Professional Surveyors: Surveying is the art and science combining precise measurement with evidence analysis to represent an accurate depiction of boundaries. While surveyors have historically provided services to landowners, they also provide their services to virtually every sector of society.