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

Current Events  

Thursday, December 6, 2.30 pm | Dr. Ed Lu: Charting the High Frontier of Space

Astronaut Ed Lu and an Asteroid Visualization, 2018.


On December 6, 2018, The David Rumsey Map Center will host a talk by Dr. Ed Lu on the mapping of near earth asteroids. Throughout human history, mapping has been the key to the opening of new frontiers.  Mapping of previously uncharted regions has enabled economic expansion and the development of new markets, science, and defense.  For similar reasons, we argue that mapping the locations and trajectories of the millions of uncharted asteroids in our solar system is the key to opening up the space frontier. This 4-dimensional Space Map is crucial to the economic development of space, the protection of the Earth from asteroid impacts, and to understanding the origin and evolution of Earth. 

Dr. Ed Lu, Executive Director of the Asteroid Institute, will speak about the technologies to create a map of the inner solar system. Dr. Lu served as a NASA Astronaut for twelve years. He flew aboard the Space Shuttle twice, flew on the Russian Soyuz to the International Space Station and has logged over 206 days in space. He is co-founder of B612 Foundation, the only organization in the world dedicated to finding, mapping and deflecting asteroids.


Doors open: 2.30 pm

Event: 3.00 - 4.00 pm

Center Closes: 4.30 pm


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


February 14-15, 2019 | 
Conference on 'Mapping the Global Imaginary, 1500-1900'

 From Abissinorum sive Pretiosi Joannis imperiuMercator, Gerard, 1613.

On February 14th - 15th, 2019 The David Rumsey Map Center will host a two-day conference on 'Mapping and the Global Imaginary, 1500 - 1900'. The conference is co-sponsored by the Stanford History DepartmentGlobal History & Culture Centre at the University of Warwick, England, UK, and the David Rumsey Map Center.

When mapping on a global scale, the line between factual and fictitious landscape quickly blurs. The speakers of ‘Mapping the Global Imaginary, 1500—1900’ cross this blurry boundary into every continent, as well as purely speculative ones, to share a host of cartographic enterprises. From the imaginary Kobitojima Island propagated by Edo cartographers to the armchair geography seeking to define colonial Africa, to efforts at mapping airspace itself, topics probe the extent and diversity of challenge and license inherent in mapmaking from a (cognitive) distance. 
Professor Sumathi Ramaswamy (Duke University), author The Lost Land of Lemuria: Fabulous Geographies, Catastrophic Histories, will present the keynote address. Panel speakers include Ademide Adelusi-Adeluyi, Zoltán Biedermann, Nathan Braccio, Corin Braga, Jordana Dym, Matthew Edney, Quintana Heathman, David Lambert, Carla Lois, Ewa Machotka, Bertie Mandelblatt, Erika Monahan, Luca Scholz, Chet Van Duzer, and Bram Vannieuwenhuyze.
‘Mapping the Global Imaginary, 1500—1900’ will take place February 14—15, 2019, at Stanford’s renowned David Rumsey Map Center. Founded in April 2016, the Rumsey Map Center houses a large collection of historic maps, atlases, and their digital surrogates, as well as state-of-the-art facilities for digital projection and display.
Attendance is free and open to the public and includes a reception at Green Library on Thursday, February 14th, 2019. Pre-registration is required, please register here.




California Map Society / Rumsey Map Center Student Essay Competition 

We will accept submissions for the California Map Society Student Essay Competition starting in October 2018.

The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students in California that use the Center's map resources in a substantive way. 

Submission Deadline: 9 AM  PST on March 11, 2019
Winner Notification: the winner will be notified the week of April 8, 2019.
Winner Paper Presentation: May 10, 2019 - Rumsey Map Center and May 11, 2019 - Southern California location.

For competition rules, submission guidelines and links, please visit this page.

David Rumsey Map Center Use Guidelines 

Past Events

  • November 6th, 2018, Mapping Activism. For more information please visit this page and explore the Activism@Stanford exhibit.
  • November 5th, 2018, Panel Discussion: Nature in the City Map. For more information please visit this page.
  • October 24th, 2018, Drawing a continent by hand: a pictorial map of North America. For more information please visit this page.
  • October 18th, 2018, Historical Atlas of Hasidism by Professor Marcin Wodziński. For more information please visit this page. 
  • April 24th, 2018, Understanding Ice: The James B. Case Memorial Symposium. For more information please visit this page.
  • April 5th, 2018, California Map Society Annual Talks and Essay Competition Winner. Men, Myths, and Maps by Imre Demhardt; and Enlightened cartography: Mapping Imperial Russia by Ken Neff.
    For more information visit this page.
  • 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
  • May 10, 2018, Maps and Ships: Maritime Trade in the China Seas from the 16th to 18th Centuries. For more information visit this page.
  • March 15, 2018, Visualizing Time and Space through Foreign Eyes in Medieval China: From the Śārdūlakarṇāvadāna to Amoghavajra’s Xiuyao jing. For more information visit this page.
  • 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.