Resource and Transportation Map

Kirkbright­, no date

Hi Everyone,

Happy spring from Ely hall. This week’s hand-drawn map is from Vassar’s pre-ArcGIS/ESRI technology cartography days. The map is missing some key identification information; there’s no date (although ArcGIS came out in 1999, so it’s definitely before then), and no information on the projection used or the data sources.

The map features iron, oil, gas, and coal deposit information along with airline, rail, and pipeline routes, helping us envision how natural resources were transported throughout the United States at the time. For example, pipelines seem to congregate in the middle of the map around where Kansas City, Missouri is, as well as in the New York City Area (although these cities aren’t labelled; major city information might have enhanced this map’s readability).

Our collection has several variations of this hand-drawn resource and transportation map; it must have been an assignment for class. I chose this one, however, because Kirkbright was the only one who chose to include information on federal irrigation projects; this extra layer adds complexity to the map and is key information that raises questions surrounding the impacts of natural resource industries on water access in areas where irrigation projects and natural resource deposits overlap.

What would this map look like today? How might new resource extraction technology change the information on this map?

Have a good week,

Aidan Antonienko ‘21

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