Maps of all kinds. . . .

I'm pretty sure that part of my love of travel is related to my love of maps. Ever since I was a kid I have loved them. So did my mother. She was the map reader when we went traveling by car. My Uncle was a geography teacher, as is one cousin, and another was a cartographer. Geography was certainly another love in college. On this page I will put anything I can even halfway feel is related to maps!
Below are some maps scanned from a very old atlas, ragged and obviously well used, since it is falling apart, that I picked up somewhere a long time ago, and have treasured ever since. It was a text for intermediate schools in Pennsylvania, and is dated 1884. When you click to get a larger view, you should be able to see how much the political world has changed over the last one hundred years. It is particularly evident in Africa!

I grew up in California. When I came across this map in the old atlas, and read the accompanying text, I wondered if it was even the same place I had known! Clicking on the map to the left will take you to a larger view of that map of California, along with the text.

No mention is made in the atlas of Yosemite National Park, or Sequoia National Park, Lake Tahoe, Lassen National Park, or Death Valley National Park. Of course, none of these had been explored or were parks when this atlas was published. When you click on any of those links, they will take you to pages with pictures; you can see for yourself the beauty that has drawn so many to California.

If you are going to Thailand, be sure to check out this map for Bangkok. A friend introduced me to it over ten years ago, and it is one of the most "fun" and useful maps you'll ever come across for a city. It's good for shopping, but that's only the beginning. It is just loaded with useful information, AND it is beautiful to see. Click on logo at left to go to site.

I really use political and physical maps, and site maps for special places, and even activity maps such as Nancy Chandler's Map of Bangkok (above), alias "The Market Map and Much More," which is really a treasure.

But I don't know how people live without an atlas in their house. I certainly have to have world, continental and oceanic, country, and city maps, as well as atlases, just around for reference. My general atlas is the National Geographic Atlas of the World, seventh edition. Now, with the internet, besides the atlas, you can go to the National Geographic Site, and explore endlessly. I can't imagine that virtual travel will ever take the place of real travel, (smells, heat, cold, sounds, etc.) but a virtual trip now and then is a reasonably good temporary substitute. This site more than supplements the atlas and the National Geographic Magazine.