Map of the Week# 5 Chicago’s World Fair 1893

Visitors map created on Rand McNally & Co’s. Map of Chicago 1890

The above map was modified to give visitors to the Worlds Columbian Exposition of 1893(A.K.A. The Worlds Fair) a guide to the city of Chicago and a subtle suggestion as to where to lodge, especially for the Christian visitors.

Notable locations on the map in regard to the Worlds Fair of 1893 are indicated by a red hashed area located in the southeast portion of the map. Details of the Columbian Visitors’ Association’s “South Shore” building and it’s location in relation to the World’s Fair Grounds are illuminated by an inset map set in Lake Michigan.

Above and Below: World’s Fair Grounds 1893

The “South ShoreColumbian Visitors Association

While not the primary focus of the map, many of Chicago’s Parks and Cemeteries are noted on the map in the color of green.

Some well known parks include Lincoln Park and Lake Park.

Left: Lincoln Park, Right: Lake Park

Lincoln Park originally served as a cemetery for the city beginning in 1843 and later became a city park in 1864. Attractions within this park include the Lincoln Park Zoo, a conservatory, and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

Lake Park, now known as Grant Park was officially named as a park in 1844. Grant Park contains and links many famous Chicago attractions and events. Most notable is the Buckingham Fountain pictured below.

Connected to Grant Park in the northwest corner is Millennium Park which hosts concerts and other events. Millennium Park is also the home of the sculpture Cloud Gate, affectionately referred to as “The Bean” by locals.

Institutions located within close proximity to Grant Park include:

Two of Jeff’s favorite events also take place at Grant Park:

  1. The Taste of Chicago – Usually around the week of the 4th of July.
  2. The Chicago Marathon – This year the start will take place October 11, 2009 at 7:30 a.m. Click here for the course map!

Also noted on the map in the same shade of green as the parks are cemeteries within the city limits. These include:

Graceland Cemetery
Founded 1860

Oakwoods Cemetery
founded 1854

Rosehill Cemetery
founded 1859

Finally, there is one last feature on this map that I’d like to illuminate and share. The Union Stock Yards of Chicago, the source of inspiration for The Jungle published by Upton Sinclair in 1906.

Chicago has a long and interesting history, but this weeks map only provides a snap shot of the city in 1890. Hopefully I’ve covered some of the more interesting features, but I’m sure I’ve missed a multitude of fascinating stories and facts. Please feel free to take up where I’ve left off, there are many more parks, cemeteries, and places of interest left on the map to explore!

Did You Know? #12 We’re Famous!?

The primary focus of our blog is to bring geography to our users in a fun and lighthearted fashion. Which, we hope you agree that we have. But some of you may be ready for more detailed coverage of the modern geospatial community. For those of you who want the most current news on cutting edge geospatial technology, and trends in geo-industry please visit our friends at:, Geography in Stereo

Their website features Audio and Video Podcasts, and quick blog posts to elucidate their audience of tasty geography tidbits and fresh off the press geo-news. Outside the Neatline was very fortunate to be highlighted in their latest podcast in the Web Corner segment (episode #217). Please check it out! Thanks to Jesse, Sue, Frank and Barb!

Did You Know? #11 Cartography in the News

Political views aside, the following video is entertaining and impressive! Minnesota Public Radio edited and posted this video of Senator Al Franken of Minnesota and it’s worth watching.

Pause the video and compare it the following map provided by National Geographics Xpeditions Atlas page:

Not too bad, how does your geographic knowledge stack up? Click on the picture below to see CNN’s reporter Jeanne Moos provides an entertaining overview of Al Frankens ability. Pay attention to when she asks “can you find New York on a map?”.

If you’re out of practice on naming your states we’ll provide you with some fun online games that will sharpen those rusty skills (Thanks to for listing the first 3 links in their excellent blog!):

  • Place the States – In this game you’ll place the state shape where it belongs.
  • Name the States – This game is a little less difficult, just place the state name where it belongs.
  • CIA Worldexplorer – This game covers world geography at various levels and asks you to choose a country based on facts given to you. Good Luck!
  • Maps.Com – This page contains many online map quizzes and map games for different regions around the globe.

Try this quiz from Maps.Com:
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If you need to study up beforehand, we recommend National Geographics Xpeditions web site. Here you will find a link to an Atlas, Lesson Plans and Activities.

We at Outside the Neatline would like to show of your students knowledge of geography and map drawing skills. We would like to see student submissions from elementary school students or classes so we can post their work for the mapping world to see! We will leave the submission date open so that we can highlight your students hard work throughout the year.

You can submit your cartographic masterpieces in one of two ways:

(1) as a digital image attached to an email sent to:


(2) in the drawings original paper format in the mail addressed to:

Map and Geographic Information Center (MAGIC)
Homer Babbidge Library
369 Fairfieild Way, Unit 2005
University of Connecticut
Storrs, Connecticut 06269-2005

Any questions or concerns can be answered by email at: Or by telephone at: (860) 486-4589

Map of the Week! #5 Sleeping Sickness in Africa 1909

Okay, so maybe there’s two maps this week, but they’re closely related!

Map 1.) Skeletal Map of Tropical Africa Showing Distribution of Tsetse Flies

Map 2.) Skeletal Map of Tropical Africa Showing Distribution of Sleeping Sickness and Glossina Palpalis

Both of these maps were published in 1909 by the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain. Map 1 shows the spatial distribution of Tsetse flies which were discovered to be the vector for the disease sleeping sickness (African Trypanosomiasis).

Tsete flies (Genus Glossina) have several species that exist on the African continent. On Map 1 you can see that there are several species of Glossina listed. These species have slightly different habitats as shown below (click the links for modern day maps, how do they compare to the 1909 maps?):

There are many other species of tsetse flies, for a brief list, click here.

The actual parasite that the tsetse flies act as vectors for is the protozoa Trypanosoma brucei , more specifically African Trypanosomiasis.

Trypansomiasis can be a fatal disease that first causes the lymphnodes to swell, insomnia at night and fatigue by day (hence “sleeping sickness”). For a list of symptoms and stages of the illness click here. It was not until 1902-1903 that it was discovered by Sir David Bruce that the tsetse flies were the vector for this parasitic disease. This cognitive leap must have prompted the mapping of tsetse fly habitats and distribution to predict the occurrence of sleeping sickness and take initial steps in mitigating the disease. Turn of the century GIS!
Oh yeah, if you want some GIS data on tsetse fly distribution, check out this page sponsored by the FAO.

“Hooray for geography and hooray for maps!” I say!