Cultural Maps

Map drawing - if this helps; it's a scan of my original drawing.

Here are some categories/themes that we were thinking of that also try to cover general time periods (such as Virgin Land or Incorporation of America do). Some could be combined, or renamed, obviously, but here's our brainstorm:


  • Geographical Mythology (imagineerings of the New World, even other places, through time; myth-conceptions; early images of the land to the west of the thirteen colonies; West as connected to India or to China; maps showing the existence of a "Northwest Passage" to the East; maps showing California as an island; maps depicting strange creatures or mythical beasts residing in the uncharted parts of the West or on maps/atlases in general;
    Later views of the West:
    West as a great desert, a fertile plain, etc.; West as connecting or providing a quick connection to the East; West as a forbidding stretch of forest land filled with hostile Indians and other dangers)
  • Creating/Imagining the "New World" (early divisions of the land by country; mapping how early settlements worked, expanded; what the industries were [tobacco, cotton in south, e.g.]; map of slavery; map of churches in early America;)


  • (shifting Frontier lines, maybe old/physical and new/technological; map of Indian tribes, how they depleted over time; general maps of expansion, Lewis & Clark, Louisiana Purchase; exploration of "frontiers" by Leif Erickson and onwards; mapping flora/fauna species; what painters chose to paint scenes of; what/where photographers took pictures of); natural geography, such as geology, nautical maps, topography, how they affect development; maybe go into imperialism with maps of territories, the spread of U.S. corporations world-wide, the rise of terrorism against America; growth of terrorist cells, militia groups, include pictures of Oklahoma City bombing, World Trade Center, eco-terrorism acts, etc.).


  • (map of factories; mapping labor strikes; map showing decline of farms; map that compares regions that support gold vs. silver standard; map of public schools; mapping railroads, other transport lines; map of amusement parks over time; maps of changing urban landscapes; charts showing rise of dime novels; maps showing connection between mining and geology; exploitation of resources; rise of public welfare; rise of hospitals); mapping rise of national parks; mapping/timeline of location of endangered species; mapping rural to urban transformation;
  • Mapping the Melting Pot (at Anthony's suggestion) (track immigration; ethnic migration; age of the population over time--how people are living longer; where people are moving or forced to move; what countries are people arriving from? How many return to their nation of origin; where people settle and how that relates to what skills they have or their culture or how much they saved)


  • America the Technocracy (mapping Internet connections, DSL connections; employment--how jobs change over time--top jobs each year for past hundred years, e.g., top-earning jobs, specialization of tasks; changes in medical profession; changes in education; change in voting rates over time, maybe suggests increased willingness to let top lead?; average hours spent on Internet--at work/at home; rise of daycare; mobilization and shrinking of political parties [maybe under incorp of am.]).
  • Consumer Nation (rise of TV ad rates over past 50 years; print ad rates; mapping which houses have TV over time, percentages in different areas, vs. e.g. obesity rates; kids cartoons and commericials aimed at kids; Nielsen ratings; bestselling books; Oprah viewing population; Jerry Springer viewing population; Antiques Roadshow viewing population; mapping malls; mapping fast food chains; rising expense of political ads versus voting rates; mapping what people buy over time--top household items, e.g.; holiday gift-giving; grocery chains/bog-box stores across America; top TV shows, movies, etc.; movie chains across America; car dealerships; effects of NAFTA; video games)

Add ideas/musings: Contact Mary