Anchor NEMO Banner

Reports and Comments on the
14th Annual NEMO Meeting, June 1-2, 2000

University of Southern Maine, Portland

(These reports may also be viewed, printed, or downloaded in pdf format.)

Table of Contents

Minutes of the Annual Business Meeting
GIS Environmental Tools
Mapping Boston
Slide Presentation by Dr. Harold Osher
Francis Barrallier: A Life Larger Than Cartography
Captain's Report
Reflections of Portland, Maine and Being Captain NEMO

Minutes of the Annual Business Meeting

Captain Paige Andrew called the annual business meeting of NEMO to order at approximately 8:40 a.m. on Friday, June 2, 2000. Approximately 28 members were present.

Treasurer Heather Hoffman reported that NEMO has approximately $2950 in its bank account. With outstanding bills to be paid and checks for meeting registration to deposit, the balance after the meeting will be in the range of $2800-$2900. Because of few transactions during the year, Heather will move NEMO funds from a NOW account to a higher yielding money market account.

Captain Paige applauded newsletter editor David Bertuca for getting NEMO's website up and running. David reported on the site and the newsletter, and solicited contributions for each. Erno Bonebakker brought to David's attention that this past spring issue of the newsletter was the 10th anniversary issue, and so David will recognize and celebrate this fact in the next issue. The deadline for this next issue, including the meeting reports, will be the end of June. Captain Paige suggested that contact information (e-mail addresses and phone numbers) be added to the list of officers that appears in each newsletter issue.

There was some discussion of the map project to create a map for Amtrak's northeast corridor route that we had hoped to initiate as a NEMO service project over the past year. Discussion indicated that the members still consider this a worthwhile idea. Various suggestions were made for proceeding. Paige Gibbs suggested contacting Congress persons who serve on the transportation committee to garner support and suggestions for entrée to Amtrak. Patrick McGlamery suggested that the map design part of the project would be an opportunity for university cartography students. Gene Moser suggested the submission of samples of transit maps from local areas for design ideas or a competition. Captain Paige, with apologies for not moving the project along over the past months, transferred the reins to Captain-elect Ernie Woodson, to pull the effort together by finding someone to coordinate it, and to communicate with Alice Hudson about her self-constructed Amtrak route map, which was an inspiration for the idea. Without a firm commitment to the project at this point, but with a view to first determining its feasibility, we agreed that NEMO should also still entertain suggestions for other possible projects.

Captain Paige opened the floor for nominations for secretary and captain-elect. With no new nominations forthcoming, Nancy Kandoian indicated her willingness to run for a second 2-year term as secretary, and Jim Walsh indicated his willingness to run for captain-elect. Each was elected unanimously.

Discussion followed on sites for the next annual meeting. It was decided that Nancy would work on Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts as the site for 2001, with Patrick offering University of Connecticut as an alternate site if Mount Holyoke does not work out. Jim Walsh and Paige Gibbs will explore locations in Rhode Island for 2002, and David Cobb will look into University of Vermont for 2003. David also suggested the possibility of a joint meeting with the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives in Burlington, Vt. Captain Paige suggested continuous planning ahead by committees so that our meeting sites are decided a few years in advance. Other sites presented for consideration were Nantucket, suggested by Stephen Ford, and Colgate University in upstate New York, by Eliza McClennen. Regarding the dates for 2001, Nancy mentioned that possibilities would be Thursday and Friday, May 31 and June 1, as well as June 7 and 8. The latter seemed to be preferred by the group, but no one knew of specific conflicts for either time.

Captain Paige solicited a volunteer to take on the NEMO archives, as Erno brought his accumulated files. Jim and Dick Gelpke mentioned also having NEMO files to contribute. Patrick volunteered to see if the University of Connecticut archives would take the material, as NEMO began its existence there. (Patrick subsequently informed members via e-mail that he has deposited the NEMO archives at UConn and that more papers to be archived can be sent to him there.)

Dick moved that the meeting be adjourned. Siegfried Feller seconded the motion. Paige Andrew adjourned the meeting at 9:15 a.m.

Nancy A. Kandoian

GIS Environmental Tools

John Ossie
Director of the Delorme GIS Department
and Manager of the Delorme Mapping Data Library

Summary by Melissa Lamont

John began his presentation with a review of his previous work in environmental investigation. This work usually involves pollution and John recalled investigations of military base sites as examples. Military work often requires the use of chemicals for both building and testing weapons. Environmental sites involve the analysis of single points on or under the ground rather than the broad polygons or line networks often associated with GIS. Further, most environmental investigations involve X, Y and Z dimensions, because most contamination does not remain stable and moves along the surface and subsurface. The investigators rely on a suite of software including CAD, Global positioning systems (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS) to acquire and then store and analyze data about a site.

During this part of his talk, John noted several aspects of environmental investigation such as: site characterization, the classification of the potential hazards and their locations; plume and spatial analysis including groundwater modeling, particle tracking and fracture analysis, to track contaminants moving with water. Additional aspects include: data visualization, to represent the data graphically for decision makers. As John noted: "GIS allows interactive analysis of chemical and physical data by those who need to make decisions." Still, GIS requires a remarkable amount of human intervention including people familiar with the site.

In his position at Delorme John has led efforts to add more analytical tools to their current GIS systems. Delorme has filled a niche by providing a usable, out-of-the-box product to consumers and now hopes to attract a professional market. Delorme's 3-D TopoQuad product delivers data in three dimensions and includes some analytical capabilities. XMap, another inexpensive mapping solution allows the user to input and geocode data. In addition, Delorme is looking at obtaining and adding value to data packages including the use of remote sensing to update street level TIGER data and topographic quadrangles. Another product, combining layers of Digital Raster Graphics and Digital Orthophoto Quadrangles in a movable window is now under development. Delorme's business model, one that will appeal to budget conscious libraries, is to sell quantities of affordable, usable software and data solutions rather than a single, expensive and difficult to use product.

Note: Any mistakes in this synopsis are mine. John has left Delorme and was unavailable to comment on the accuracy.--ML

Mapping Boston
David Cobb
Summary by Jim Walsh

How do you report on visual presentation that provided a cartographic view of Boston from the 1600's to present day? I still don't have an answer to that question, but it is time to write a summary of David Cobb's presentation, "Mapping Boston."

David's talk was based on the book, Mapping Boston, which he co-edited with Alex Krieger. The book was published last year. For those of you who have not yet seen this book, you are missing a great cartographic reference work and a wonderfully interesting and informative book on Boston. The citation for the book is: Mapping Boston. Edited by Alex Krieger and David Cobb with Amy Turner. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press/Muriel G. and Norman B. Leventhal Foundation, 1999.

David's talk focused on the maps that were not included in the above-mentioned book. The maps that we saw presented a cartographic view of the city of Boston and how its boundaries and shape changed over the years. However, they also provided a social, political, economic, and historical picture of the city over approximately 350 years. We see how the population grew and stabilized; the annexation of Roxbury, Dorchester, Charlestown, etc. are depicted over time; the "planned developments" for the reclaimed Back Bay are displayed; and the historical buildings and landmarks (many of which are now just a memory) add to the information value of the maps.

In forty-five minutes we saw Boston grow from its original topography of the 1600's to its present day recognizable shape. David provided us with an informative and entertaining presentation of the mapping of Boston.

Slide Presentation by Dr. Harold Osher

Summary by Claire T. Loranz

Dr. Harold Osher, who along with his wife Peggy is a major donor to as well as enthusiastic supporter of the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education at the University of Southern Maine, presented a slide lecture revealing his history as a map collector and the treasures of the USM collection. Characterizing "map treasures" as being of various sorts, Dr. Osher first introduced "classic treasures" such as the John Foster's Map of New England… and a portolan chart. "Pocket treasures" include portable, small atlases and traveler's guides such as Carey's American Pocket Atlas.

The "undiscovered treasures" category was represented by delightful examples of specialized and public geographies such as Sanborn fire insurance and municipal maps, as well as school geographies. "Manuscript treasures" shown included Emily Hill's folk art map of the United States, featuring a lovely hand-painted cartouche.

This capsule presentation of USM's map treasures was followed by a lively question-and-answer session during which Dr. Osher's love of using maps as a teaching tool, including his belief in outreach to school children, became evident. Dr. Osher noted the need to be opportunistic while collecting, but suggested that he anticipates future acquisitions in the areas of Northeast coastal maps, the Great Lakes, oil company war maps, world views, wall maps and globes in order that the collection will continue to support a wide variety of teaching needs. Readers who would like to view some of the objects shown can visit the online display of "Worldly Treasures: A Fifth Anniversary Celebration" on the Osher Map Library's web site.

Francis Barrallier:
A Life Larger Than Cartography

Harry Stewart, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts
Summary by Richard Gelpke

Dr. Harry Stewart presented the opening talk to the 2000 NEMO conference in Portland, Maine. He introduced this by indicating that not all research projects develop in an "ordered and logical way an outgrowth of patient and intensive research" on a topic.

Indeed in this case it was quite accidental Dr. Stewart's wife wanted to go to a warm place as an escape from Clark's Worcester, Massachusetts, campus in winter ... and where else? Warm tropical islands beckoned Barbados, which happened to be Clark's winter of retreat! Or was it the other way around?

Dr. Stewart then followed the worldwide peregrinations of William Mayo who went to the British colony of Barbados from Wiltshire, England in the 1680s. He surveyed and produced a map of Barbados with an exquisite cartouche. Since he also was a good promoter he made enough money to get to Virginia where he laid out the City of Richmond and became the chief surveyor for the Virginia North Carolina boundary line. Mayo's map was so good it lasted for a century as the definitive map of the island.

Francis Barrallier was born in Toulon in the south of France in 1773. His peripatetic life included traveling from Toulon to Elba to Naples to the west of England to Australia where he lived from 1800 to 1803. He accomplished a good deal of surveying and mapping in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. He then spent the next 15 years in various islands of the West Indies; he was active in Barbados from 1812 to 1817.

Of course by this time, well over a century after Mayo, Barrallier had much more accurate surveying instruments and produced a more detailed map of the island. His English background came through however and he was instrumental in having Lord Nelson's statue erected in Bridgeton, the capital of Barbados in what is now the National Hero's Square. Subsequently he returned to London where he died in Bedford Square in the East and in 1853.

Such is the unusual background of those who "did the mapping in the old days!"

Captain's Report

NEMO met at the University of Southern Maine in Portland for its annual meeting. From our meeting site on the campus it was a five-minute walk to the Osher Map Library. This map collection can be described as a very interesting approach to University Map collections.

This important collection has the support of the local community and Yolanda Theunissen heads the excellent staff. One of the missions is reaching "the person on the street" with its educational component being the Smith Teaching Collection where the teaching of cartography and history is achieved. Also be facility is attractive with nice exhibits and security. Our NEMO tour and after dinner reception was one of the highlights of our meeting.

We welcomed new members that joined us in Portland: Lucinda Hall, Dartmouth; Zip Kellogg, U.S.M.; Lynn Bjorklund, USGS; Paul Schroeder, U.S.M.; and Scott McEathron, U. Conn.

During our business meeting Jim Walsh became Captain-elect, Nancy Kandoian returns as Secretary, and Heather Hoffman as Treasurer (Congratulations).

For 2001, Mt. Holyoke College was suggested as a meeting site. Nancy Kandoian is finding out if this will work for next June. For future meetings we discussed University of Vermont, and Rhode Island. David Cobb suggested we try to jointly meet with the Association of Canadian Map Librarians for the Vermont meeting.

Another achievement of our Map organization is the placement of our history into the University of Connecticut archives. Thanks to Pat McGlamery. Erno is passing on our short history to this archive.

Finally, for those of you who have not seen our NEMO website, take a look.

Have a great summer!
Ernie Woodson
University at Buffalo Libraries

Reflections of Portland, Maine and Being Captain NEMO

I guess the title above acts as a nice box for the two things I've been thinking about since returning from Portland (via NH and Vermont) and this year's Annual Meeting. For those of you who did not or could not attend we had a great turnout and FANTASTIC set of programs and activities. Portland, and especially the Osher Library and its staff, along with Dr. Harold Osher, were wonderful hosts and kept things running very smoothly. Of course, on the last day when we toured the Osher Map Library there were so many rare treasurers set out for the attendees to explore. We listened to presentations from Yolanda and other staff members about the Library, its collections, and its missions, and concluded with Dr. Osher telling us about specific rare maps, their histories and how he came to acquire them.

Many thoughts of the Meeting come flooding back to me as I write this; staying in a dorm room for the first time since I was a freshman in college! (and where I met my future wife); the eclectic mix of the city and its surroundings and inhabitants; kibitzing and catching up with all of my NEMO friends; bits and pieces of several of the presentations; worrying about everything going well; having to be in front of and speaking to groups of people (not fun for me!), and then that big relief when it was all over with and Ernie becoming Captain NEMO! I'm sure Ernie will fill in more of the gaps elsewhere in the newsletter, and the minutes to the Business Meeting will catch everyone up with topics of discussion, decisions made, and who our new officers are!

Let me conclude this piece by telling all of you that it was an honor and a pleasure serving as the leader of this small but very fun and active group during 1999 and 2000! I truly wish my circumstances at work had not had such a negative effect on the Map Project, but as of this moment I am no longer a Department Head (Yippee!), which is what took up so much of my time and energies the second half of my tenure as Captain NEMO. I would like to have done more for NEMO, but feel I did the best I could under the circumstances. May I ask that others consider stepping up and serving for Ernie Woodson in a number of ways so that his year is more fruitful than mine. I sure look forward to next year's meeting, hopefully at Mt. Holyoke College, but wherever it may be mostly to seeing and learning with all of my friends in NEMO!

Paige Andrew
Captain NEMO (Ret.)

Last modified: 26 September 2013

Please send comments, questions regarding this site to David J. Bertuca.

Return to NEMO Meetings
Return to NEMO Home

Awarded the Links2Go
Key Resource Award for Map Libraries, 2000-2003