DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

My Background with Maps

First off my name is Eric and I was born in Columbus, Georgia. I have lived in Alaska, Arizona, California, North Carolina, Washington and of course Idaho. My background with maps is not too extensive however my family and I always travel by car on vacations so I have had to read maps on the road before. In addition to reading maps on road trips I am also required to read them for work as I am a delivery driver. I usually have a good sense of direction but I am not so sure if I rely on directions as much as an internal sense of direction like we discussed in class. I could not tell you without thinking about it which direction I am going but i am rarely lost, especially if i have had a chance to familiarize myself with a location through maps or previous experience. I am excited to break down the little I know about maps and rebuild with new ideas and perspectives.


This is my map analysis of Trent's map.

When I look at this map it is very readable. It is laid out in a grid form and has streets labeled from multiple directions helping to maintain a sense of direction. I feel this map fits the definition of a map in a very fundamental way because it has great spacing and labeling and seems like it would be a good tool to have in the area of vista  to ash. I feel the author must have a close connection to this specific location because he has the streets labeled and the blocks laid  out in a symmetric grid. Based on the uniformity i am unable to guess which area of the grid he is most familiar with but it does show me the creator has a mind that likes things laid out neatly and organized and is someone who would do better with a map with order than one with abstract ideas such as the ones on the syllabus that look like people and pictures. I feel this kind of map would be easy for most people to read as it follows most common map ideas.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Name: Atlatl Rock

Location: Overton, Nevada

Time Period: Prehistoric


When I look at this picture at first it looks like just random cave drawings or something but after looking at this image more deeply, I believe it is a map of a campsite for a nomadic group. There are trees that seem to be surrounding the majority of the image leading me to believe this is some sort of clearing in the trees that made for a good camp.  It also looks to me like the line streaking through the middle of the image may have been a river and it looks like the people who are illustrated may be fishing or something. I also think the x might represent the home tent or structure that they slept in. It also looks kind of like a farm plot with the suspected trees being crops and the animals being food. I also see next to the animals what looks like a fenced area which also lead me to the farm idea, but the reason why I reject this idea is because I do not believe agriculture and domestication were around at the time of this images creation. Another theory I have is this might be a depiction of a hunt because the people look as though they have weapons  in hand and the animal figures could be prey. I believe that even if it is a depiction a hunt it is still a map because it showing the way they hunting and kind of mapping the process. 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Name: Terrain at Uma Clay tablet

Location Found: Mesopotamia

Location: Louvre, Paris France

Time Period: Early Dinastic Sumerian 2100 BCE


When I look at this image I clearly see a map. If you look at the four lines surrounding the middle area it clearly looks like a wall and at the bottom of the wall it looks like there is a gate. I think the large triangle possibly represent a barracks for military and the large triangles to the left seem like they might be military storage and the small triangles might be supplies.  Another idea I have is that this is a smaller piece of a larger map. I feel like this could be placed alongside other pieces to make a full map. I think this looks like a puzzle that is made up of the blocks in the town and maybe this square represents one section of town. It also looks like it could be an agricultural site with the outside lines

 representing fences and the triangle could represent animals being farmed.  I think if this is true then the large triangle on the side where there is a higher concentration of small triangles might the animals about to be butchered.



DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Name: Fragment of the Orange, Roman Cadastral Surveys

Location: Arausio, France

Time Period: Roman First Century BCE


As I was looking through images this one shot out at me as a map, it doesn’t necessarily fit the typical idea of a map with symbols and land boundaries. This map instead seems to me like it is really straight to the point and deals with a lot of information. I believe the grid like system that it is laid out in maybe represents the roman equivalent to city blocks and I think the information written in the individual squares is potentially a listing of who lives on that

 block in the grid or

 possibly the businesses that are located there. As we discussed in class the Romans like to collect their taxes so this cadastral map could serve almost as a phone book for the Roman officials to track taxing. As for discounting this image as a map, I could not see the romans spending this kind of time and effort carving a regular document into stone when paper existed and at the time maps were made in much larger scales.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Name: Wubei Zhi

Location: Library of Congress, Washington DC

Time Period: 17th Century Eastern Zhou Dynasty


When I look at this image it is clear to me that it is a map, but due to its creation in the region around China, I find myself less familiar with the geography of the area as my knowledge is not there with present day maps either. As I first look at the map it looks to me like this is possible a trade route that leads through treacherous mountains and the dotted lines moving between them are the safe routes for travel. In some of the images you see buildings and in the left half of the image you can see kind of a large palace like structure which I think might be where the capital was. One thing I was kind of curious about too was the solid lines surrounding the mountains. After analyzing this I have come up with a second theory for this map and that is that the mountains are actually islands with the solid lines creating the boundaries of the water. I think that this makes sense too because at the time the ships were all sailing ships and the dotted line could serve as indicators of the winds direction. I also believe now that the buildings are most likely large trade cities, the large palace looking building with the sign above may be Singapore or another large trade city.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Name: Mappa Mundi

Location: Hereford Cathedral, England

Time Period: 13th Century


When you first look at this image it does not jump out at you that this is a map, but after looking at the water mass flowing through the middle you can see that it is clearly a map. In the water which I believe to be the Mediterranean Sea as well as the Nile River and possibly one more river I am uncertain of. I believe the thick middle part is the Mediterranean because I recognize names of islands that are located in the Mediterranean such as

Sardinia and I also saw what looked like a labyrinth on the Minoan Island of Crete. In the center of the map I notice a circle with a cross on it and it looks to say Jerusalem which would make sense because in a religious centered piece Jerusalem would be at the heart. Around the outside you can also see the encircling ocean which surrounds the world as it was known to them. In the top right portion you can notice what appears to be the Red Sea as it is red and in the same basic shape as it appears on maps today. At the bottom of the Red Sea you can see a trail that leads from what I believe to be Egypt through the Red Sea and winding around possibly lost which is mapping the route Moses led the Israelites on after leaving Egypt. I also believe this area to be Egypt because there is abody of water flowing thorough which I think is the Nile and across the river there are pointy structures which in believe are the pyramids.


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Name: World Map for King Roger of Sicily

Location: Bibliotheque Nacionale de France

Time Period: 12th century


When I look at this image it kind of reminds me of a modern day mapping of the earth. You can distinctly see the spherical shape as well as the great body of water that surrounds our continents. When I was trying to distinguish geographical features I noticed what looks like a very accurate depiction of the Nile River and the Nile delta flowing into the Mediterranean, which appears to have some of the more its major islands displayed. This helped me to recognize a lot more on the map because I realized north was on the bottom and south was on top. The other body of water shown is the Indian Ocean with what looks like the Red sea attached. I can tell the person who made this ma p was more familiar with this region as there are more details. He had drawn many more islands than he had In the Mediterranean as well as established what appear to be some sort of land boundaries that look potentially like a mountain range. I also notice similar illustrations to the south but these ones are bundled together possibly depicting a large mountain. I am unable to distinguish between regions towards the north of the map because he seems to have made Africa extremely large and condensed Asia and Europe to a portion of land almost half the size, when in reality the two would be almost double the size of Africa.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

After discussing what a map is for several weeks now I have come to the conclusion that there is not definitive answer for what a map is because it is subjective to the cultures who created it. For example the medieval T O maps at first glance would not appear as being maps but when you think about the world view of the culture it makes perfect sense to say something as abstract or simple as some of these are maps. You have a body of water surrounding the land masses that they knew about as well as having water flowing through the middle to symbolize rivers and seas that separate the terrain internally. I have come to realize that maps are very diverse but have many similarities when compared with other maps of the time period, even when dealing with different cultures. The T O maps help me with this idea because you had maps being made by three major religious groups which all centered around Jerusalem, The Nile and The Mediterranean which would have been very influential in the lives of all three groups. So through our discussions I have learned that a map really is in the eye of the beholder and a map may mean something to one person and absolutely nothing to another but as long as the cartographers target audience is able to make sense of what it is saying then it is indeed a map.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Name: Venice

Author: Piri Reis

Time & Orgin: Early 16th Century; Ottoman


I first encountered this image when looking through my professors Piri Reis book of Ottoman maps and when I found this one I was very intrigued. It looks almost like a fairytale place with the canals running through the streets like a moat. I concluded that this must be Venice, Italy.  This is clearly a map of Venice because you can see three compass roses but when you compare it to modern day image of Venice you can see St. Marks Basilica and the rest of the main blocks of Venice. On modern day images from a similar view of this map I do not see the two islands with houses on them which I assume have sunk into the Laguna Veneta. I also tried searching for the turrets like structures they had displayed in the water and when I tried to find ruins of these structures I was unable to find any, however when I looked at Venice on google earth I began to wonder if maybe the long island that runs in front of Venice called Lido. I also wonder why this map since it was possibly used for military strategy would have 17 churches on this map unless churches at the time were military targets. 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Name: Portolan map

Illustrated by: Mareo Prunes

Year: 1559


When I look at this image, which is clearly a map I can instantly notice the Mediterranean.  I also notice two large very detailed compass roses with lines that are very clearly drawn with three smaller ones possibly for more accuracy. The clarity of these lines as well as the little attention to detail in the areas with land aside from the large cities which were probably major trade cities. I am not certain but I believe the second largest city at the top of the map is Venice because it is situated at the top of the Adriatic in the same spot as Venice.  To the left of Venice I believe is Genova because the flag is similar to ones I saw online. I am not quite certain of the few others down the line but I assume they are major French and Spanish countries since they are located in modern day France and Spain.  As far as across the Mediterranean I see what must be Ottoman states because the flags all have a moon shape on them as well as some use of black or red which is the same as the modern day flag in Turkey. I also noticed the largest city on the map is located where Turkey is today and the realized that the area along the African coast was Ottoman as well. 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

When I first look at this image I don’t necessarily see a map popping out at me  but after I look more intently I notice it could be mapping not only space but social structure. I think the physical mapping aspect of it is clear witht the agricultural area to the bottom left. I notice these little trails that look like Indian Legos or something which may be their roads. I think to the upper right corner of this image is the city where these people live. I think it maps social status because it shows people in the city in line which may be the higher class while the ones in the field are the lower class. Another idea I have is that these are neighboring cities. I was thinking this because the people in the bottom left are upside down compared to those in the right corner maybe displaying that these are different groups of people. I was wondering if these lines  connecting the two were trade routes and maybe the left city is more geared towards agriculture while the right city has an economy driven by something else that they can exchange for agriculture. It also looks like some of the guys in the right city are armed which makes mehink they possibly traded protection to the other city in exchange for agricultural goods. 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Name: Europe as a Queen

Illustated by: Sebastian Munster

Year: 1570


Looking at this image it is clear that it is depicting a map although it may not be geographically accurate. You can clearly see continents such as Africa and Asia labelled though the size and importance seems to be lackin

g. As we know today these two continents together would make up more of the earths land than any other remaining, especially considering the Am


ericas have yet to be discovered and mapped. I believe this map is trying to do more with symbolism than geographical or tactical accuracy which is why the European countries in particular form the shape of the queen. I believe the reasoning behind the symbolism is to show the countries that are under the Queens rule and possibly the areas located at the top of the image represent the more important countries or possibly the ones that have been under rule longer. I think the significance of Sicily being a ball in the hand of the queen to possibly represent the Queens rule over Italy as it shows Sicily in the palm of the Queens hand. I also think that Scotland and London being on the end of the scepter has some significance possibly showing that they were the ruling power and not one of the countries listed on the head or crown. You can also see several crosses showing the Queen in power was probably catholic.




DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Name: Birdseye View of Boise City

Illustrated by: Augustus Koch

Year: 1890


Looking at this modern style map of Boise in 1890, I am able to notice a few things that seem strange to me but I can also see some things that are quite familiar. The first thing that jumped out at me was the lack of development on the far side of the river which nowadays is extremely populated and developed. With this map it seems the whole Broadway/East Boise section of town is pretty nonexistent and witht the age of the houses surrounding broadway it leads me to believe this map was created just before Boise experienced a large growth. When I look at the river I can easily notice that people have changed the flow of the river and possibly reduced the flow as the island in the middle of the river is nonexistent at some times of year and during others is still quite small compared to the one depicted here. On the Boise Bench I can see a railroad which I believe is the same one that intersects Overland and Kootenai and runs into the old train depot at the top of capital.  You can also see that a lot of the land across the river is used for agriculture probably using the river as a natural canal.  I deliver pizzas in east Boise and I think the farm to the top left is Gekeler Farms which is now an apartment complex but still has the original barn and farmhouse. I also think that the loop in the river has been filled in since it seems to me like it would run through Boise State which I have not observed.


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

                When I was first prompted with this assignment I decided that I really wanted to do something that related to my job since I deliver pizzas for a living and mapping the fastest routes for my deliveries is something that is almost second nature to me. My first idea was to compare the growth of my delivery area from the seventies to now but after further consideration I realized this topic was not really anything to analyze so I decided that I would instead compare some of the routes that my fellow drivers take compared to my own. What I decided to do was to give look at their deliveries and see what trends they seemed to follow when it came to delivering.

                My test subjects were a newer girl who has worked as a driver for only a few months named Jaime, another who is far more experienced was Wayne who has been at Pizza Hut since 1993, and myself.  At our store we have weekly driver stats that show a few different numbers, one of which is average delivery time, which is what I used to choose my test subjects.  I chose the fastest which is myself the middle of the pack which is Wayne and our last place driver Jaime.

I first looked at what kind of deliveries Jaime took on a random Thursday and then I asked her which way she took to deliver the orders. For one double she left the store to go 2201 Gekeler and 3405 Boise Ave.  She left the store and turned left on Boise Ave. and delivered the first pizza then turned around and went to Gekeler by Lindon.  I realized her technique was to simply go straight to the first delivery and then turn around and go straight to the second delivery, which after thought I realized was a very basic technique to map deliveries and I later discovered she plugs in deliveries into her gps and takes them in order of ticket number which resulted in having slower delivery times.

When I looked at triple that Wayne took which was a much further distance I found quite a bit more technique behind his deliveries. He went on a delivery to 2401 Apple, 1918 Leadville and 120 Mallard.  When I asked him which order and route he took he told me he started with Apple St. then went to Mallard and finished with Leadville. When I asked him what was his deciding factor on delivering his pizzas he said he starts the closest one and then goes to the ones he thinks are easier to deliver first. He also said he takes into account the size of the orders to help him decide which to take first but also said this technique only takes place when he has a really small order that would not keep the heat well. So he was utilizing some thought and mapping technique on his deliveries.

When I looked at a triple I took to 3506 Northbridge, 4999 Douglas Fir and 3776 Suntree I found that I use a wide variety of techniques in decided which order to deliver. I deliver Northbridge first followed by Suntree and finished with Douglas Fir.  I found my primary factor for deliveries was to deliver the orders based on closest to furthest. I also noticed that I take many more side roads and I avoided places with stop lights and signs and left turns where traffic could impede my time. I also noticed a little bias towards smaller orders being delivered first as well as new orders receiving prompter service possibly as a subconscious way of winning future business and increasing gratuities.

                In conclusion, I have realized that in order to have the fastest delivery times you need to be able to route things in smart ways as well as develop multiple techniques to get to your houses quicker. I found the most beneficial techniques are to avoid busy roads, make sure you route is composed mostly of right turns, and to route things in kind of a circular shape so you are not crossing paths you have already passed.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.