Interviews with Geographers and Cartographers

Caitlin Dempsey

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Between 1970 and the early 1990s, Maynard Weston Dow (1929 – 2011), Professor Emeritus at Plymouth State College, was the main producer of a series of interviews with hundreds of geographers. Dow spent 40 years recording the visual and oral history of American geography.   Over 300 interviews from this collection were digitized by the Library of Congress (LOC) and the American Association of Geographers (AAG).  

Users can access a select representation of these interviews via the LOC site.  The interviews include prominent geographers such as David Harvey, William Warntz, Waldo Tobler, Carl Sauer, Richard Hartshorne, Wilbur Zelinsky, Richard Chorley, Mildred Berman, John Frazier Hart, Peter Haggett, E. Cotton Mather, Yi-Fu Tuan and William Bunge.

Visit:  Geographers on Film collection

A More Contemporary Interview With a Cartographer

The UK newspaper, the Independent, profiles Iain MacDonald, a cartographer in their “I Want Your Job” series.  MacDonald works for Collins Geo which is a division of Harper Collins that produces maps and atlases.  The skils he states for doing his job well: “You’ve got to be computer literate and logical, with excellent spatial awareness.

Read more: I Want Your Job: Cartographer

This American Life on Mapping

The radio show This American Life devoted this broadcast to mapping (rebroadcast from September 4, 1998). The broadcast focuses not only on traditional mapping but also looks at mapping uses the other senses of smell, sound, touch, and taste. While the broadcast may be dated, it is still an interested profile in how different people respond to the geography around them.

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.

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