25th Anniversary IMCoS Symposium


February 5, 2007
The International Map Collectors Society IMCoS celebrated its 25th International Symposium at Universidad Francisco Marroquín. This was the first time the annual symposium had been held in Latin America. Other countries that have hosted this event include Israel, Spain, Greece, Norway, Italy, Cyprus, Germany, Australia, Japan, and Belgium. The three-day event featured conferences by recognized experts in the fields of cartography, archaeology, geology, and volcanology. IMCoS members from around the world attended the symposium along with participants from Guatemala.

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25th Anniversary IMCoS Symposium
Guatemala, February 5 to February 7, 2007

Jens Bornholt, IMCoS representative for Central America and author of the book Four Centuries of Geographic Expressions of the Central American Isthmus, gave the opening remarks at the inauguration ceremony before introducing Giancarlo Ibárgüen, president of Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Mr. Ibárgüen gave the audience a warm welcome to the university campus and described the UFM Map Collection, housed in the Ludwig von Mises Library, and the Lienzo de Quauhquechollan exhibition.

IMCoS president, Roger Baskes, also commented briefly on the event and thanked its organizers, Jens and Erika Bornholt .

In his remarks, IMCoS Chairman Hans D. Kok humorously described how many map experts tend to get lost easily. He referred to Christopher Columbus, who stumbled upon a new continent in his attempt to find a shorter trade route to the East Indies. Instead of focusing on where ancient cartographers went wrong, though, Kok explained that this year's symposium would present the opportunity to learn more about maps made in the New World, by the people who did know where they were. Mr. Kok declared the 25th IMCoS Symposium, IMCos Guatemala 2007, officially open .

2007 Conferences

Landscapes of Guatemala
February 05, 2007

Geologist and volcanologist Samuel Bonis presents an overview of Guatemala’s geographical setting, varied landscapes, and geological history. He also describes the effects of the 1976 earthquake and the mapping techniques used then to identify the quake’s center. Watch video

The Guatemalan Volcanic Arc
February 5, 2007

Hector Monzón describes in detail the volcanic activity that has shaped and continues to shape Guatemala’s landscape. Step by step, he describes how volcanoes are formed and the tremendous forces at work in volcanic eruptions and plate tectonics. Watch Video

Mapping the Mirador Basin: Exploration and New Technology in the Cradle of Maya Civilization
February 5, 2007

Archaeologist Richard Hansen presents an overview of Maya civilization focusing on the many ancient sites found in the Mirador Basin in northern Guatemala. He also describes the region’s geographic framework and critically important natural resources. Dr. Hansen explains the different techniques used to map these ancient cities—from the earliest maps drawn in the 1920s to total station technology and laser scanning systems. Watch Video

Portolan Charts of the Bay of Honduras
February 6, 2007

Professor Richard Pflederer traces the history and evolution of portolan charts that began in the area around the Mediterranean Sea, exploring how this tradition was applied to other areas of the world. In this presentation he looks specifically at how the coast of Central America is depicted in the maps and charts of the region beginning with the earliest ones from the 15th century. Watch Video

Mapping the New World for the Spanish Kings
February 6, 2007

In this presentation, professor Barbara E. Mundy describes one of the most ambitious and earliest attempts to systematically map the globe. This mapping project, spearheaded by the Spanish crown in the 1570s and 1580s, entrusted mapping to hundreds of local officials throughout the Americas. Dr. Mundy analyzes the two mapping cultures reflected in this project, comparing and contrasting indigenous and European mapping traditions. Watch Video

The History of Guatemala Through Maps
February 6, 2007

Dr. Armando de la Torre presents an overview of Guatemala’s history and the cultural and linguistic heritage of this country “in the making.” He also describes how the map of Guatemala has changed through the centuries as territory was surrendered. Dr. de la Torre concludes with a summary of Guatemala’s geological features and how these also contributed to its political, social, and cultural makeup. Watch Video

The Search for Interoceanic Communications and the Panama Canal
February 7, 2007

Dr. John R. Hébert looks at the 400-year quest to find a passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans that would allow ships to travel from Europe to Asia through America. In his presentation he describes the many different proposals regarding the location and type of canal through the Central American Isthmus that eventually led to the construction of the Panama Canal, which was completed in 1914. Watch Video

Perspectives on the Colonial City: Power, Politics and People
February 7, 2007

Richard Kagan discusses the central role of the town in Spanish America. He explains that both secularly and spiritually the town was the basic building block of the vast Spanish Empire. Dr. Kagan describes the characteristics and origins of the rectilinear pattern of Spanish colonial centers. He also looks at both utopian and negative views of the colonial city. Watch Video

External links

1. IMCoS Guatemala 2007[1]
2. The International Maps Collector's Society, official website [2]
3. The IMCoS-UFM experience was reported in Journal [3]
4. Simposio de IMCoS se celebra en la UFM [4]
5. Preparations in the map library for IMCoS reunion [5]
6. IMCoS-UFM presents its website [6]
7. Lienzo de la conquista: Lienzo de Quauhquechollan [7]

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