Nick Bauch, Launching Enchanting the Desert, May 16, 2016

Current Events  


Asian Representations and Constructions of Space

Organized by Dan Tuzzeo and with generous support from the Stanford Humanities Center, the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford, and the Stanford Departments of East Asian Languages and Cultures, History, and Religious Studies the Center will host the Geballe Research Workshop series entitled: Asian Representations and Constructions of Space (ARCS). 

Throughout the academic year ARCS will invite a total of nine scholars from various disciplines to share works in progress concerning geographical, cosmological, and ritual space in historical Asian contexts from ancient and early modern India, China, Japan, and the Himalayas. Speakers will introduce participants to art, architecture, maps, manuscripts, gazetteers, and digital tools that formulate and depict a broad scope of spatial realms.

Talk by Richard Pegg

Thursday, May 10, 2018. 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 

For more and to register, visit this page.


 California Map Society / Rumsey Map Center Annual Lecture and Student Essay Competition Winner Talks

Men, Myths, and Maps: The U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers and the Conquest of the West

Imre Demhardt

3.30 pm, April 5, 2018

Our annual lecture series co-sponsored by the California Map Society will feature Professor Imre Demhardt of the University of Texas, Arlington. He is a well-known and popular lecturer in the history of cartography. The Rumsey Center program will also feature the winner of the student essay competition.

Professor Demhardt’s topic at the Rumsey Center is Men, Myths, and Maps: The U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers and the Conquest of the West. The Corps of Topographical Engineers was established in 1838 and operated as such until the outbreak of the Civil War. The Topographical Engineers were an elite group of West Point graduates who accomplished an astonishing amount of work mapping and describing the West. Among them were George Meade, John C. Fremont, and Stephen Long.

Professor Demhardt will also speak at the Map and Atlas Museum in La Jolla (April 6) and at the Monte Cedro auditorium in Altadena (April 7) under the auspices of the California Map Society.


Doors open 3.15 pm

3.30 pm: Student Essay Competition Speaker

4.30 pm: Professor Imre Demhardt

5.45 pm: Center Closes

The talks are free but require advance registration. Please register here.


Understanding Ice: The James B. Case Memorial Symposium

Talks | Map Exhibit Unveiling

From Sued-Polar-Karte by Adolf Stieler.

On April 24, 2018, from 1-5 pm, the David Rumsey Map Center will host Understanding Ice: The James B. Case Memorial Symposium.

Huge ice sheets cover Antarctica and Greenland.  Glaciers and snowpack act as frozen reservoirs providing water for surrounding communities.  We hear about ice when glaciers recede or ice sheets break off, but what are the processes governing these changes?  What role does ice play in the behavior, evolution, and stability of the earth system?  Three Stanford faculty will address these topics focusing on their cutting-edge research in the geology, geophysics, and modeling of ice.  Join Rob Dunbar, Dustin Schroeder, and Jenny Suckale as they explain what is known about how ice works. This afternoon symposium is in honor of James B. Case, a glacial surveyor, and expert in photogrammetry, who donated his glacier map collection to Stanford Libraries in 2017.

The talks are free but require advance registration. Please register here.


Data Storytelling with Thematic Maps: The Design Genius of Charles Joseph Minard

From Carte coton...1858 et 1861, Minard, Charles Joseph.

On May 24, 2018 The David Rumsey Map Center will host a talk with RJ Andrews titled Data Storytelling with Thematic Maps: The Design Genius of Charles Joseph Minard

Doors open: 3.15

Viewing maps, browsing the Center's Exhibit: 3.30 pm to 4 pm

Talk by R.J. Andrews: 4 pm

Data storyteller R.J. Andrews gives a design critique to the thematic maps of French mapping pioneer Charles Joseph Minard. Minard is most famous for his Napoleonic Russian campaign map, but his catalog is deep. Elements and flourishes will be highlighted across Minard's work that are still relevant to how we understand our world today. Along the way, we will get a better sense of who Minard was, and how he came to become the master of the flow map.

R.J. Andrews is a data storyteller and creator of Info We Trust. His bold style – often described as creative arts meets data science – is a striking lesson in how to use design and science to humanize complexity. Explore R.J.'s interactive history of data visualization at

The talk is free but requires advance registration. Please register here.


Call for Papers: Conference on 'Mapping the Global Imaginary, 1500-1900'

February 14-15, 2019


From Abissinorum sive Pretiosi Joannis imperiu, Mercator, Gerard, 1613.

Maps have long been used to bring imaginary places to life, from Thomas More's Utopia to J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth. But the role of the imagination in mapping extends well beyond the depiction of fantasy realms. This conference—co-organized by the Global History and Culture Centre at the University of Warwick and the History Department of Stanford University—is designed to showcase research and facilitate conversation about the role of the imagination in the cartographic enterprise writ large. 

Presentations will ideally focus on a handful of particular maps, drawing chiefly on

examples made between 1500 and 1900. Possible themes for exploration include:

- Mapping utopias and dystopias

- Projections of power and competing border claims

- Recidivist cartography

- Maps of alternative futures; maps of alternative pasts

- Topographies of the unknown (uncharted territories)

- Imagining populations, nations, and civilizations

- The fabulous; the monstrous

For more information including abstract submission guidelines click here.


David Rumsey Map Center Use Guidelines 

Past Events

  • March 15th, 2018, Exemplars of Cartography through maps of the Holy Lands. For more information explore the digital collection in Seachworks.
  • March 5th, 2018, Student Activism at Stanford: Map Launch. For more information explore the Activism@Stanford exhibit.
  • February 23, 2018, Making the World Go 'Round: How Urbano Monte Created his Map of 1587. For more information visit this page.
  • December 7, 2017, Petr Pridal Talk: Old Maps Online, GIS, and Cutting-Edge Technology. For more please visit this page.
  • November 15, 2017, GIS Day. For more, please visit this page.
  • Asian Representations and Constructions of Space
  • February 12, 2018, Illuminating the World before 1492: China, the Islamic World, and the Cross-Cultural Mapping of Asia; for more information visit this page.

  • October 12, 3pm-5pm; Eric Huntington (Postdoctoral Fellow, Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford): "Frames of Scale and Geo-Spatial Transformations in the Buddhist Maṇḍala”. For more, visit this page.
  • October 26, 10am-12pm; Jon Felt (Assistant Professor of History, Brigham Young University): "The Empire and the Ecumene: Regionalism After the Han Empire" For more, visit this page.
  • November 27, 10am-12pm; a Joint session with Kären Wigen (Professor of History, Stanford University) and D. Max Moerman (Professor of Asian & Middle Eastern Cultures, Barnard College, Columbia University): "Imagining 'Asia': Foreign and Native Worldviews in Constructions of Early Modern Japanese Cartography”. For more, please visit this page.
  • November 10, 2017, Time in Space: Representing Time in Maps.  For further information, visit this website.Barry Lawrence Ruderman Conference on Cartography, October 19-21, 2017. For more more information, go to the website here.
  • May 20th, 2017, 8.30 am - 9 pm: California Map Society Meeting (One Day Conference, including map talks): Registration and fees. Please visit this page for details.
  • May 4th, 2017, 6 pm: Essay Competition Winner + Richard Brown and Paul Cohen Talk: Free, but registration required. Please Visit this page for details.