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The Walker Party, Map 3, Across New Mexico and Arizona Territories and up the Hassayampa River, 1861-1863, Burggraaf, Written History Needs Maps

Written History Needs Maps

By Pieter S. Burggraaf, 2015

Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it, and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.

– From the pen of Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911)

The telling of history needs illustrative maps. In a rather simple view, history is the movement of people across geography in the past. Henry Walker and Don Bufkin captured this idea in their wonderful reference book Historical Atlas of Arizona. According to these authors, “History is the story of man—his actions, his comings and goings, and his settlements. As most of mankind’s actions and travels and the places” where men and women settled are “controlled by natural settings—terrain, climate, geography, and even geology—an understanding of the land is essential to an understanding of history.”(1)

Unfortunately, in so many books today about historic events, and even many of the classic books of yesterday, the text usually screams for a map to illustrate where events happened and what the people of the times thought they knew about the lay of the land. In many written histories, the maps used seem to have been an afterthought with authors or publishers plugging-in whatever they could find. Many times, the maps used do not provide the details that are necessary to support the text where the maps are called out. Often the maps used are disconnected from the period of history being discussed. Or, large maps are crammed into a small book format rendering them illegible.

When I began writing The Walker Party, The Revised Story my goal was to put equal effort into the many maps that I felt the work needed. It took some time for me to get map-making right—almost six months—but I eventually taught myself some basic cartography and developed techniques that suited my limited skills.

So, I have created each map in this book to fit legibly on a book-size page. Where possible, I have based the background geography and the positions of rivers, towns, and other geographic locations upon a period map. Each of my maps includes notation about its source. In addition, some of the maps in this book include reproductions of the original hachures—the classic symbols for representing geologic relief in cartography—from the source map.

Readers who are familiar with the areas depicted on the maps in this book will undoubtedly find misrepresentations compared to today’s maps. These should not be considered errors as such, but rather indicative of the incomplete knowledge of the territories of New Mexico and Arizona at the time. This will help the reader understand why the people in this story were often off by many miles when describing where they were or where they were going, or in many cases simply had no clue as to their whereabouts.

Finally, I have written extended captions that enable each map to stand alone with its intended information. I believe that you will find the maps that accompany this revised, more expansive story about the Walker party very informative, and I trust that the text will be equally rewarding.

Notes for Written History Needs Maps:
(1) Henry P. Walker, Don Bufkin, Historical Atlas of Arizona, Second Edition (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press,1986), iii.

Pieter Burggraaf retired as a writer in the semiconductor manufacturing industry and is an avocational historian. He researches, writes and occasionally teaches about people whose lives and adventures touched historic Maricopa Wells and the Pima and Maricopa villages. This essay is excerpted from his new book, The Walker Party, The Revised Story: Across New Mexico and Arizona Territories and up the Hassayampa River, 1861-1863, available from Amazon.com, used with permission. Read about the book and view some of the maps in the Ortelius Showcase.

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Country and US State Outline Maps Included Free with Artboard 2

State shape outline maps are perfect for including in school and business reports, presentations, iBooks, web pages, and more. These are fully-scalable, fully-editable editable vector graphics. Compare to high-priced “powerpoint” clip art maps, it is easy to change their colors, put multiple states together, copy and paste into Pages, Keynote, Word, and more, or print and share directly from Artboard.

U.S. state outline maps are proportional to each other and can be “fit together” to form groupings of states, for example, California, Nevada and Arizona. Note, some rotation may be needed when fitting together. Some clip art are made from multiple objects that can be ungrouped before editing.

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Creative Commons License Media (e.g., templates, clip art, styles and symbols) provided by Mapdiva LLC are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License unless otherwise noted. This allows licensees of Mapdiva software to reuse those media for integration within their own work, both personal and commercial; however, Mapdiva reserves fully and unconditionally all trademark, branding and redistribution rights associated with the original media. Attribution to Mapdiva.com is requested, however not required.

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Get Your Kicks from these Route 66 Maps!

We’d like to congratulate Tom Snyder, author of “Route 66: Traveler’s Guide and Roadside Companion,” on his recently published book edition. This fully revised and updated book includes dozens of elegant and easy-to-read new maps produced with the Ortelius software. It was a labor of love as Tom spent months meticulously creating over 92 maps, as well as completely updating and expanding the bestselling guide itself, for the fourth edition.

More than twenty years after the original publication of Route 66, this completely updated and expanded guide will make the trip along the Mother Road easier and even more exciting. Responding to requests from readers and travelers, Tom offers up-to-date routings, elegant and easy-to-read new maps, and revised information on roadside attractions. Filled with love, high jinks, and mystery, the stories Snyder narrates truly capture the flavor of the Main Street of America. Cattle rustlers, gangsters, hitchhikers, and ghosts all make appearances in these nostalgic glimpses of history-in-the-making along America’s most famous highway.

Prizewinning author Tom Snyder was an early advocate of a Route 66 revival and his 1990 Route 66 Traveler’s Guide & Roadside Companion for St. Martin’s Press was the first guidebook to the old road written in more than forty years, as well as the first to map the route since its decertification in 1985. He lives on the West Coast, dividing his time among British Columbia, Washington, and California.

The book is available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.

Congratulations Tom, we wish you terrific success!

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Search and Destroy – Book Illustrated with Ortelius

It is with much gratitude we offer our congratulations to Richard Brummett, Mapdiva’s very first customer, for the publication of Search and Destroy by Keith W. Nolan and published by Zenith Press. Upon the author’s untimely death, Richard Brummett (Keith’s friend and associate) saw the book through to completion. A large part of that effort included making the four maps, three charts of military vehicle silhouettes, and a page of crests and patches that illustrate the book, which were created with Ortelius cartography software for Mac OS X.

In fact, Richard purchased his license of Ortelius slightly before the official public release in order to work with the demo without the watermark. He worked with the patience of a saint as we flushed out pre-release bugs and continued the final stages of development. Richard’s input was invaluable toward the documentation of Ortelius as he asked questions about (at that time) undocumented features, offered encouragement, and inspired us to keep plowing forward. It is a perfect demonstration of how Ortelius’ development is truly a partnership with our customers.

About Search and Destroy: The Story of an Armored Cavalry Squadron in Việt Nam: 1-1 Cav, 1967-1968” [Hardcover]

The 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, of the 1st Armored Division deployed to Việt Nam from Fort Hood, Texas in August 1967. Search and Destroy covers the 1-1 Cav’s harrowing first year and a half of combat in the war’s toughest area of operations: I Corps. The book takes readers into the savage action at infamous places like Tam Kỳ, the Quế Sơn Valley, the Pineapple Forest, Hill 34, and Cigar Island, chronicling General Westmoreland’s search-and-destroy war of attrition against the Việt Cộng and North Vietnamese Army. Exploring the gray areas of guerrilla war, military historian Keith Nolan details moments of great compassion toward the Vietnamese, but also eruptions of Mỹ Laị-like violence, the grimmer aspects of the 1-1 Cav’s successes. Search and Destroy is a rare account of an exemplary fighting force in action, a dramatic close-up look at the Việt Nam War.

About the Author

Keith W. Nolan studied the Việt Nam War for twenty-five years and has published articles on the subject in Leatherneck, the Marine Corps Gazette, Proceedings, and Vietnam magazine. He is also the author of eleven Việt Nam War combat histories, all of which have been Military Book Club selections. Keith died in February 2009 at age 44 and this will be his twelfth and final book on the Việt Nam War.

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