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Mapping And Imagination In The Great Basin: A Cartographic History
by Richard V. Francaviglia
University of Nevada Press, 2005
eISBN: 978-0-87417-640-7 | Paper: 978-0-87417-617-9
Library of Congress Classification GA102.6.F73 2005
Dewey Decimal Classification 912.79

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

The Great Basin was the last region of continental North America to be explored and mapped, and it remained largely a mystery to Euro-Americans until well into the nineteenth century. In Mapping and Imagination in the Great Basin, geographer-historian Richard Francaviglia shows how the Great Basin gradually emerged from its “cartographic silence” as terra incognita and how this fascinating process both paralleled the development of the sciences of surveying, geology, hydrology, and cartography and reflected the changing geopolitical aspirations of the European colonial powers and the United States. Francaviglia’s interdisciplinary account of the mapping of the Great Basin combines a chronicle of the exploration of the region with a history of the art and science of cartography and of the political, economic, and cultural contexts in which maps are created. It also offers a compelling, wide-ranging discussion that combines a description of the daunting physical realities of the Great Basin with a cogent examination of the ways humans, from early Native Americans to nineteenth-century surveyors to twentieth-century highway and air travelers, have understood, defined, and organized this space, psychologically and through the medium of maps. Mapping and Imagination in the Great Basin continues Francaviglia’s insightful, richly nuanced meditation on the Great Basin landscape that began in Believing in Place.



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