Monthly Archives: May 2015

Population maps

This population map of the Saxony region of Germany is a recent addition to the map collection. Volksdichte-Schichtenkarte des Königreiches Sachsen nach der Zählung vom 1. Dezember 1900 (Population density layers map of the Kingdom of Saxony after the census of December 1, 1900) shows density of population by colour with two insets for the areas around Dresden and Leipzig from an earlier 1846 census.


Volksdichte-Schichtenkarte des Königreiches Sachsen nach der Zählung vom 1. Dezember 1900, C22:25 (74)

Population maps such as this are, in the field of cartography, a relatively recent product, with the first known examples being published in the early 1800s. Early maps would give tables showing population figures, this example from 1822 has one that is Christian only and colours parts of the World depending on the ‘Degrees of Civilization’.


Clark’s Chart of the World, 2nd ed, 1822. (E) B1 (151)

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inset of Clark’s Map showing population table and legend

But at the same time different ways to portray population figures were being introduced. This map, from 1849, shows the population of Britain based on figures from the 1841 census by using dots to show sizes of cities, towns and villages as well as shading to show general population density.


British Isles elucidating the distibution of the population…1849, (E) C15 (157)

Our original map of Saxony uses a technique called isopleth to show the density of population. Isopleth uses lines to show areas of equal value, the lines are similar to contours on a physical map and work on the same principle. The main advantage is that you can see at a glance the heavily populated areas by the colour ranges shown on the graph. That Saxony was, in 1900, a mainly rural area can be seen be the amount of green and brown cover shown.


Inset from Volksdichte-Schichtenkarte des Königreiches Sachsen showing Dresden according to 1846 census


A list of selected accessions to the map collection in April 2015

Argentina Political Divisions, OSS A-3856. 1944. H3 (222)

L’Hellenisme depuis l’antiquite jusqu’a nos jours, 480 av-J.C. 1921, 1921? C8 (309)

Notes on the Italian Theatre of War and short vocabulary, 1917. War Office, includes glossary and key phrases translated into Italian, text and map of North Italy (G.S.G.S. 2846) C25:1 e.1

Argentina Corn Map – World Statistics, 1939. Published by Sanford Evans Statistical Service. Features tables on corn production, exports and imports etc. H3:5 (17)

Océan Glacial Arctique Spitzberg. Région des travaux de l’expédition de l’Académie de Sciences de Russie pour le mesure d’un arc de méredien en 1899-1901, Académie des Sciences de Russie. M9 (121)

Stadtplan von Istanbul,1940. Generalstab des Heeres. D30:80 Istanbul (32)

Map of the Empire Mail Scheme and other Commonwealth air routes in the Eastern Hemisphere (existing and projected) 1938. 1937, War Office. B4 (135)

Map and guide of Abha and Khamis…, c1988. D50:9 (4)

Catal Agzi liman inkiʂafi. 1938. 3 maps and a diagram on the Ereĝli coal basin in Turkey. D30:3 (22)

Airfields and enemy dispositions, Amami-Gunto and Okinawa-Gunto, OSS No 5509. 1944. D20:46 (3)

Physical chart of North Polar Regions, plotting route of ‘Fram’ and Fridjtof Nansen. 1897. B2 (142)

Cholera epidemic 1863-1868. 1952. B1 (1488)