My Twitter Feed

June 19, 2018

Open Thread – First Map of Alaska

As an aficionado of old maps, I’m not sure why I never posted this one before.  This is the oldest map of Alaska. It was made on a Russian expedition in 1741 by the Danish explorer Vitus Bering. Obviously, it wasn’t completely accurate, but I think they did find Kodiak. Do not use this map for navigation purposes, particularly if your travels will take you to the Aleutian chain.

Source: “Steller’s Journal of the Sea Voyage from Kamchatka to America and Return on the Second Expedition, 1771–1742,” American Journeys Collection—Document.



22 Responses to “Open Thread – First Map of Alaska”
  1. AKblue says:

    Overheard conversation between a anti-Affordable Healthcare sign carrier and a reporter (paraphrased):
    Protestor: we have to get rid of Obamacare.
    Reporter: what if we had a healthcare plan that does A, B, and C.
    Protestor: that sounds reasonable. I would support it.
    Reporter: A, B, and C are in the Affordable Healthcare law.
    Protestor: Oh.

  2. Baker's Dozen says:

    The rather egregious errors makes one wonder: Could Bering see?

  3. russellsq says:

    Maps are quite beautiful objects and they can show you how to journey far down the road. In my old age I have come to ignore my maps, it is good sometimes to not look to far down the road. I also don’t always want to know where I am going, getting lost now and then has given me true wisdom.
    Slainte’ to all

  4. GoI3ig says:

    Notice how it’s shaped like an elephant’s head? My word, they feared even then, that the place would be overrun with republicans.

  5. leenie17 says:

    Very cool map, AKM!

    I have an old map of Ukraine, which isn’t quite old enough to show the tiny village where my paternal grandparents were from (before the revolution) but is still fascinating to me.

    I also have an atlas of North America that I bought in Ukraine and is written in Cyrillic. My college Russian is very rusty but I can still remember enough of the letter sounds to recognize place names. It’s really fun to see how they translated some of the names of states, cities and towns!

  6. OMG says:

    We’ve all heard that conservatives are gleefully cheering for the end of “Obamacare”, especially the individual mandate. Conservative justices on the Supreme Court seem to be joining their chorus. But it wasn’t long ago that these same conservative voices were praising health care systems that included such mandates such as that in Singapore. The ultra-conservative CATO Institute praised the benefits of an Obamacare-like program before Obama propossed it. Funny how quickly they’ve changed their tune showing the world how politics means more than patriotism.

    And before the right wing starts stamping their naughty monkeys, they may want to know that Singapore is considered “the second freest country on earth” with the US coming in 10th.

    “As we all know, a healthcare mandate is tantamount to the extinction of economic freedom. Yet the Heritage Foundation’s 2012 index of economic freedom in the world ranks mandate-loving Singapore the second-freest country on earth. The United States drags along in embarrassing 10th place, behind 6th place Canada—which relies of course on a single-payer government healthcare monopoly.”

  7. beth. says:

    Speaking of unknown places…

    Got a full-blown, flat-out panic call from 34-yo DS2 at about midnight last night. He couldn’t find his car keys! He’d looked and looked and looked, and did I know where they might be? [Yeah, right…] Still, this morning, no keys; Can’t find them ANYWHERE, he panics. Was I *sure* I didn’t know where they might be? [Yeah, I was pretty sure I didn’t…]

    We knew they were somewhere in his apartment because his car was locked and you can’t lock it without the keys. But where were the keys? Finally getting him to calm-the-heck-down a tad, I suggested he ‘retrace’ his going into his apartment and ‘recheck’ all the places he’d already looked. He said he’d already done that. Still no keys. I told him to do it again — that he’d eventually find them.

    When I spoke with him at about 10 this morning, still no keys. I told him I’d take the spare set we have down to him, but had he looked *every place* he might have plunked them down? “Yes”, he assured me…and he’d been looking for nearly 11-hours.

    He said, “I came into the house, and I swear, I put the keys and my wallet down next to the couch were I always put them. The wallet is there, but the keys just aren’t! They’re nowhere to be found! What am I going to do, Mom; I need those car keys!”

    On a hunch — knowing him as I do and therefore knowing how his mind works in wonderous and mysterious ways — , I then asked him if he might have made a ‘stop’ before he put down his wallet and his keys. He thought about it a bit and said: “Nope, not really; just to put the apple crisps in the freezer…”

    Lord knows I love him, but YIKES!, he’s a full-time job. beth.

    • beaglemom says:

      Ah! Isn’t motherhood grand?

    • leenie17 says:

      My nephew is 35 and has a serious case of ADD (and sounds sooo much like your son!). He’s married to a woman with different ‘letters’ and they have two children with still other ‘letters’. It’s a regular alphabet soup in that family!

      My sister still gets panicked phone calls from him on occasion about things that, like you, she could not possibly know, particularly from the other side of the country. She was, however, quite relieved when the grandchildren survived infancy without her worst fear being realized – that he would put the kids somewhere when they were babies and not remember where he left them!

      Somehow the children who are the most labor intensive always seem to remain a full-time job AND often seem to have spouses and children who become additional full-time jobs as well!

    • mike from iowa says:

      This iz funny. My Jeep and my Je-p can be locked without the use of keys and of course my spare set is in the console where it would be handy if I got locked in.

    • UgaVic says:

      The one I married must be genetically linked 🙂

  8. OMG says:

    A must read on why the GOP is right about the moral crisis in the US but so very wrong about the real culprit:

  9. Moose Pucky says:

    Very cool map of Alaska! Lot of ground there to explore! Still even.

    And then there’s those obscure maps with the big blank spaces the (Republican) Redistricting Board is sort of sharing and calling an “intermediate step” and not accepting input from the public on or allowing other maps (perfectly sensible and legal) to be submitted for their consideration.

    They did say they’d have a final map out by June 1, 2012, the day before the candidate filing deadline. That should help give the Republicans an edge, do’ntcha think?

    Good running commentary going here:

  10. slipstream says:

    Speaking of old maps, a lot of the USGS maps for Alaska were last updated in the 1950s or 1960s. Be sure to check the date on the map (legend at the bottom).

    I have worked on search and rescue events in which the map showed where the road was sixty years ago, but the road had long since been rerouted. Searches are hard enough when the map is accurate. A bad map adds a lot of confusion to the emergency.

    The magnetic declination indicated on those old maps is also wrong (the magnetic poles wobble a bit). Do a web search for up-to-date declination for the area you will be in.

  11. Marilyn says:

    I love old maps…and the guesswork those travelers did was pretty darn good considering….it always surprises me how much they already knew about the West Coast in 1741….and had been there a long time b/4 Lewis and Clark got to the Columbia River.

  12. mike from iowa says:
    The state of Pennsylvania gives doctors access to chemical information from fracking companies to use for determining patient illnesses.but are not allowed to tell their patients. Sounds like korporate amerika, state sponsored, medical malpractice for certain sure.

  13. mike from iowa says:

    Ol’ Vitus spelled North America correctly,that is something modern rwnj probably cannot do. I doubt if many could find North America on a map.

  14. thatcrowwoman says:

    “…we may learn to find our way…” indeed and amen, also, too.

    This one is dedicated to way-seekers
    and to the surveyors and mapmakers who chart the paths.

    Mark Knopfler & James Taylor – Sailing to Philadelphia

    Wishing us all wonderful travels and safe home again.


  15. fishingmamma says:

    I have very old nautical charts that came with my old, old boat. I love to get them out and look at them. They are useless for navigation now, the lights and cities and rocks are all in the wrong places. ….. It has to do with the perspective those people had then, and how much we have learned since then. So……they (the charts) give me hope that we may learn to find our way sometime in the future….even politically….

Leave A Comment

%d bloggers like this: