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Geography & Map Division, Library of Congress
This exhibit is
co-sponsored by
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American Congress on Surveying and Mapping
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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 items selected 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.

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  August 9, 2010
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