Saturday, October 13, 2012

The First Geology Map: a Surpise at the Tate

During my recent vacation we visited the Tate Britain in London. The purpose of this visit was primarily to see the wonderful collection of JMW Turner's ( work.

But an unexpected bonus was encountered. William Smith's geology map, newly restored, was exhibited as well at the Tate (wikipedia/William_Smith_(geologist)). I had great fun getting nose close to the map that is considered the first true geologic map ever produced.

Smith's geologic map of England, Wales, Cornwall and Scotland, 1815

Map legend

Cross section

Detail of the Oxford area
I spent a fair bit of time soaking in the details of the map. And I was far from alone. Many folks stopped to look at the map trying to pick out just what the map said about their own landscape in Great Britain. Besides the scientific historic context of the map, the map inspired curiosity and appreciation and was, at least in my mind, on very equal footing with Turner's paintings. 


1 comment:

Five Acre Geographic said...

Nice description of the restoration, Dan. Outside of Bath, on Collier's Way, there is a Smith Commemorative (see ). Important work which had some influence upon Charles Darwin.