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Maps as Passage to the Past and Future

Maps are often passages into other worlds, reflections of the past, gateways to a future. In our latest installment of GeoNYC, we'll be looking how maps can ground us in the perspectives of time through the eyes of practice and theory. 

Follow the conversation at #geonyc for the latest updates. 


Eric W. Sanderson [@mannahatta2409]: Before becoming the center of the Western cultural universe, Manhattan was Mannahatta, "Island of many hills," in the language of 17th-century Native Americans. Using computer modeling, painstaking research and a lot of legwork,  Senior Conservation Ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Eric Sanderson re-envisioned, block by block, the ecology of Manhattan as it was when Henry Hudson first sailed into the forested harbor in 1609. For GeoNYC, Eric will present his latest work  Where do we go from here? an interactive platform to envision an ecologically sustainable city.  Eric is the director of Mannahatta and Welikia Projects, and the author of Mannahatta:  A Natural History of New York City”and Terra Nova:  The New World After Oil, Cars, and Suburbs.

Lize Mogel is a counter-cartographer who uses maps to make visible the physical, political and social systems that make places tick. Her work intersects the fields of popular education, cultural production, progressive policy advocacy, and mapping. She is trained as an artist, and works on social justice issues alongside community advocates and spatial practitioners. She is co-editor of An Atlas of Radical Cartography and co-curator of its related traveling exhibition. She has exhibited and lectured about her work internationally, including in the touring exhibition "Experimental Geography", the Sharjah Biennial (UAE), and at the 2013 Creative Time Summit. Lize will talk about some of her counter-cartographic projects and the political nature of maps. More about her work is at

Derek Watkins [@dwtkns] works at the intersection of journalism and design to mold spatial information into geographic narratives. He is a Graphics Editor at The New York Times, where he visually explains the news across print and digital media. He holds a Master's in Geography from the University of Oregon, where he researched overlaps between maps, technology, and cultural geography. Find out more at his portfolio of awesomeness. 


6:30PM: The Mingle: doors, beer, pizza, people, etc  
7:00PM: The Wonder: presentations followed by Q&A 
8:30PM+: The celebrations. 

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  • Bridget S.

    Thanks to the organizers, presenters and participants for an engaging evening of diverse maps. Could someone please pass along or post the Yale GIS internship/consultancy/job info that was featured in one of the introductory slides? I emailed two organizers for it but they have not replied and from experience, I know good gigs go quick. Thanks!

    June 24, 2014

  • Ron M.

    Thanks so much for this well-planned, informative and fun event. Weeks later I am still loving it. Would love to see an upcoming event about geomapping and the possibility of overreach of marketers and governments.

    June 28, 2014

  • Nikita S.

    excellent, excellent stuff—especially the inside look at the amazing cartojournalism happening every day at The New York Times (also must play around with mannahatta2409 later!)

    June 10, 2014

  • evasjuve

    Very interesting presentations! I liked the design the future of Eric. I think it could be nice to have visualization of flows of energy, waste and so, for make believe. Lize's mapping projects were awesome! David's was interesting too, I can imagine the cartographers in breaking new could use some more tools... Thanks again!

    June 10, 2014

  • Nathan S.

    Great presentations!

    June 10, 2014

  • Muhammad

    This was great, as usual. I enjoyed the activism and social-oriented themes of Lize's maps. But I also kept imagining how fantastic it would have been if her maps were electronic with their intended concepts built into rich user interactivity, especially since many of them are built around exploration and visualization. Would that be a great addenda to the "actual paper" maps, Ms. Mogel? :)

    I was also intrigued by Eric's "design-your-city" project. Isn't there a way to actually have our government representatives be forced to use a tool like this for "collaborative city planning" for even the very near future, say 2015? If we can design our city using practical tools, can't we force our reps, city builders and real estate moguls to implement them? Wouldn't that make utopia a reality (of sorts perhaps) or a practical fantasy (at least) ? :)

    As always, thank you to the organizers ans hosts for the spectacular line-ups and great space. :)

    June 10, 2014

  • Caitlin c.

    Really awesome speakers and great view from the 15th floor.

    June 9, 2014

  • Paola

    So bummed I couldn't make it tonight. I thought I'd be done with a project I'm working on but things didn't unfold the way I hoped. .. Looking forward to the next event. :(

    June 9, 2014

  • Phillip U.

    Does anyone have contact info for the folks who made this amazing Baseball Map:

    May 23, 2014

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