Agricultural Organization of  the U.S. According to Type Farm

Agricultural Organization of  the U.S. According to Type Farm
Jhel, M.

Hi everyone, 

I hope everyone is having a great time! Next Wednesday, November 16th, will be this year’s GIS Day, the annual celebration in which we share our GIS experiences and projects! As one of the most remarkable geospatial mapping tools, GIS (Geographic Information System) has been applied to process and visualize all kinds of data across disciplines in science and humanity. This week, I would like to feature this hand-drawn map that shows the cartography works before the invention of GIS. 

Entitled “Agricultural Organization of the U.S. According to Type Farm,” this map was likely a cartography project done by a Vassar student named “Jhel, M.”. We have several of these hand-drawn maps in our collection which might once belong to the same cartography class, though the dates of these maps are all unclear.

The base map is a choropleth map that shows 7 different farm types; the corresponding color for each type of farm is explained in the legend by the starred (*) symbols. While there is no additional information for the Wheat and Corn production areas, for other farm types, more area-specific information–such as the diversity of crops within the type, the percentage of the land that had been used in the area, or the economic value of the agricultural production–are shown in different graduated symbols. There are a lot of different symbologies used in this map and the legend’s organization is not entirely intuitional either. Nonetheless, this is still a very interesting map. My favorite symbology is the circle where the position corresponds with ranks. However, I couldn’t figure out what do the red line confined areas mean; does anyone want to take a guess?   

Next Wednesday the department will have a series of events to celebrate GIS day. Look out for more information and come to know more about ongoing projects or if you simply want to have more GIS in your life!  

Have a great week!

Yidan Xu ’24