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More Than Directions: The Sanborn Map Collection


Physical maps are disappearing in the 21st century - replaced by GPS screens in cars, and Google maps on our computer screens and smart phones.

But a hundred years ago, paper maps were important for a number of reasons - including some you might not imagine.

On this installment of Chipstone Radio, contributor Gianofer Fields sat down with Lee Grady, the senior reference archivist at the Wisconsin Historical Society.  They looked at maps made by Sanborn Map Company - a company that still exists today.

The maps of a Madison neighborhood were originally used by fire insurance companies to determine rates, but they also tell a broader story of the neighborhood's history:

Gianofer Fields studies material culture at UW-Madison and is the curator of "It's a Material World" - a project funded by the Chipstone Foundation, a decorative arts foundation whose mission is preserving and interpreting their collection, as well as stimulating research and education in the decorative arts.

Original air date: 08/23/14

Audrey Nowakowski hosts and produces Lake Effect. She joined WUWM in 2014.