By Mark Monmonier
Within the subsequent century, sea degrees are expected to upward push at remarkable charges, inflicting flooding worldwide, from the islands of Malaysia and the canals of Venice to the coasts of Florida and California. those emerging water degrees pose critical demanding situations to all points of coastal existence—chiefly fiscal, residential, and environmental—as good as to the cartographic definition and mapping of coasts. it truly is this aspect of coastal lifestyles that Mark Monmonier tackles in Coast strains. environment sail on a trip throughout moving landscapes, cartographic know-how, and weather switch, Monmonier finds that coastlines are as a lot a suite of principles, assumptions, and societal ideals as they're stable black strains on maps.Whether for crusing charts or estate maps, Monmonier indicates, coastlines problem mapmakers to trap on paper a hugely abnormal land-water boundary perturbed through tides and storms and intricate through rocks, wrecks, and shoals. Coast traces is peppered with alluring anecdotes in regards to the tricky attempt to expunge fictitious islands from nautical charts, the difficult dimension of a coastline’s size, and the contentious notions of beachfront estate and public access.Combing maritime background and the heritage of know-how, Coast traces charts the ancient development from offshore sketches to satellite tv for pc pictures and explores the societal effect of coastal cartography on every little thing from worldwide warming to native land defense. Returning to the shape of his celebrated Air obvious, Monmonier ably renders the subject of coastal cartography obtainable to either common readers and historians of technology, expertise, and maritime stories. within the post-Katrina period, while the map of complete areas might be redrawn via a unmarried usual occasion, the problems he increases are extra vital than ever.
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Additional info for Coast Lines: How Mapmakers Frame the World and Chart Environmental Change
In February 1807 Congress appropriated $50,000 for the survey, and a month later Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin asked scientifically qualified candidates to submit a proposal. Twelve responded, including Hassler. 10 Applying techniques refined in the eighteenth century by the Cassini family for its pioneering national survey of France,11 Hassler’s plan called for a well-orchestrated integration of geodetic triangulation, astronomical observation, topographic description, and hydrographic sounding.
Elimination of Hassler’s job was one of many setbacks. Appointed to the post in 1807, he received no money for salary or instruments, but found work as a mathematics professor, first at West Point, which fired its civilian instructors in 1810, and then at Union College, in Schenectady, New York, where his eccentric behavior alienated students and colleagues. In August 1811, after Gallatin gave him $25,000 to purchase instruments, he embarked on a buying trip to Europe, where he was stranded until 1815, when the War of 1812 ended in a stalemate.
Hassler’s instructions for measuring a baseline are daunting. ” In addition to being “the most tedious part of the work,” running an accurate baseline “presents, in its mechanical execution, difficulties which have always called forth . . ” 24 Because geodetic surveyors measured distance by laying precisely machined iron bars end to end, they required a perfectly straight path, typically contrived by fitting together a series of long, narrow wooden trays, open at the ends. 4. Coast Survey crew measuring a base line in Epping Plains, Maine, 1857.